25 Aug 2011

UK diplomat in NZ for talks on Afghanistan

4:03 pm on 25 August 2011

Britain's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan says he's not in New Zealand to convince the Government to extend its combat role in Afghanistan.

Former ambassador Mark Sedwill was also NATO's Senior Civilian Representative there last year.

Mr Sedwill says he's here to address the role of the international community in Afghanistan beyond 2014 when NATO combat forces are expected to withdraw.

He told Morning Report that New Zealand should continue to provide whatever support to Afghanistan it chooses in order to prevent the return of extremism and to make sure the sacrifice of SAS Corporal Doug Grant is not in vain.

Corporal Grant, 41, was killed in action in Kabul last Friday.

Mr Sedwill said the Afghan people are very keen for the NATO mission to remain to prevent the Taliban returning to power.