26 Feb 2010

Foreign Affairs minister leaves for Middle East

6:06 am on 26 February 2010

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully will leave for the Middle East on Friday to encourage further growth in trade relationships.

Mr McCully will vist Egypt, Israel, Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territories and Turkey.

Along with trade talks, Mr McCully will also discuss regional security issues.

He says New Zealand has made a long-standing contribution to United Nations peacekeeping in the Middle East.

During his visit, Mr McCully will attend the Change of Force Command Ceremony at the Multinational Force and Observer Mission in Sinai where Major-General Warren Whiting, of New Zealand, will assume command.

The minister will also sign a working holiday agreement for young New Zealanders and Israelis.