by Alison Broinowski
Tony Abbott’s visit to New Zealand on 26 February was carefully coordinated with John Key’s announcement of a Kiwi military deployment to Iraq. At 143 ‘combat-trainers’ it wasn’t as large as the 3500 troops the Australian Prime Minister had proposed on 21 February. But for a while it seemed the New Zealanders had upstaged us by having the agreement of the Baghdad government to their presence on the ground.
Now we discover that the NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully has gone to Iraq, just as Julie Bishop did in October 2014, to try to secure a Status of Forces Agreement which would immunise his country’s troops against prosecution for any of their actions which may break the law of Iraq.