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New Zealand signs partnership agreement with Nato

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New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (L) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hold a news conference after signing the Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme at the Alliance Headquarters in Brussels June 4, 2012. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet  (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS)
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key (L) and Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen hold a news conference after signing the Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme at the Alliance Headquarters in Brussels June 4, 2012.       — Photo by Reuters

WELLINGTON: New Zealand has signed a partnership agreement with Nato.

The agreement states that despite its distance from member nations, New Zealand can partner with Nato on issues like terrorism, military training and intelligence.

Prime Minister John Key says the agreement formalizes and builds on a relationship that goes back to 2003, when New Zealand first sent troops to Afghanistan. About 145 New Zealand troops remain in Afghanistan but they are to pull out next year.

Key signed the agreement Monday in Brussels with Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

The agreement comes as New Zealand seeks a non-permanent spot on the UN Security Council during 2015-16. New Zealand has also been strengthening military ties with the US.

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