Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Defence Minister Ron Mark and Minister of Police Stuart Nash have confirmed New Zealand’s ongoing participation in the multinational information sharing and intelligence mission Operation Gallant Phoenix, based in Jordan.
The Government will extend New Zealand’s mandate of a small number of personnel to the operation for 18 months until December 2020.
“New Zealand began participating in Operation Gallant Phoenix in late 2014 in support of our efforts to uncover information relating to the location of a New Zealander taken hostage by ISIS,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“We continue to gather from this operation useful security information on the risk of terrorism and violent extremism, so it makes sense for us to continue our small presence”.
“Operation Gallant Phoenix enhances our ability to understand and respond to current, evolving and future terrorist and violent extremist threats through sharing information and intelligence relating to violent extremism in Iraq and Syria and globally. This information is then passed on to the relevant domestic law enforcement agencies” Stuart Nash said.
“Through our initial involvement relating to a New Zealand hostage we have been made aware of the broader work of the Operation, and the benefits to New Zealand’s national security of ongoing collaboration” said Ron Mark.
Operation Gallant Phoenix, initiated in 2013, now comprises a large number of countries, and includes a variety of agencies including from law enforcement along with military and civilian personnel.
“Strong information sharing networks with international partners help reinforce our national security, and Operation Gallant Phoenix is one of the best examples of this for New Zealand,”.
“It has provided benefits to New Zealand’s national security beyond what we initially expected, and continues to prove the value of our participation,” Ron Mark said.