New Zealand Foreign Minister en route to Israel

February 27, 2010 Agencies
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New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully heads to the Middle East on Friday for a five-day visit to Egypt, Israel, Ramallah (in the occupied Palestinian territories), and Turkey.

Murray McCully

“My visit comes at a time of increasing engagement across commercial, economic, and political issues between New Zealand and many countries in the Middle East,” Mr McCully said.

“The main objectives of this trip will be to encourage further growth in our trading relationships, and to discuss regional security issues, which are of such importance to the global community.

“New Zealand takes a principled and balanced approach to the key issues in the Middle East – we recognise the need for all states in the region to be able to live in peace and security,” Mr McCully said.

New Zealand has made a longstanding contribution to UN peacekeeping in the Middle East, and during his visit Mr McCully will attend the Change of Force Command Ceremony at the Multinational Force and Observer (MFO) Mission in the Sinai, which will see Major-General Warren Whiting of the NZDF assume Force Command of the MFO, which monitors the Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel.

While in Israel, Mr McCully will also sign a Working Holiday Scheme which will allow young New Zealanders to work part-time while on holiday in Israel, and offers reciprocal arrangements for young Israelis in New Zealand.

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