NZ won't increase troop numbers in Iraq

NZ won't increase troop numbers in Iraq

Prime Minister John Key is refusing to be swayed by international pressure to do more to combat Islamic State (IS).

But at a major anti-IS summit, the US President and the Iraqi Prime Minister have made it clear more help is needed.

"This is not a conventional battle, this is a long-term campaign," President Barack Obama said at the meeting.

New Zealand's already committed to having troops in Iraq for two years – and it seems it doesn't matter what Obama says, that's when it ends for us.

But there's no doubting the major players want more.

"We cannot finance all these battles that we are seeking to win – we need your help," Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told leaders at the meeting.

The world can want more, it can even ask with all the theatre of United Nations, but it's extremely unlikely New Zealand would deliver.

The UN is all about peace and choosing your battles – in keeping with that the Prime Minister did something no New Zealand leader has done in nearly a decade since the Fiji coup – he met with its Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

"Well it was warm and friendly," said Mr Key. "He's invited me to Fiji, I've invited him to New Zealand."

But first there's this week to get through – including Mr Key's big UN moment.

It's the biggest, most high-powered gathering of world leaders, and the problem of IS is front and centre.

But Mr Key's steadfast saying New Zealand will not extend its military contribution in Iraq.

He will however stick with the theme in his speech to the general assembly on Friday – Syria, IS and our role as a member of the Security Council all get a mention.

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