The Capital of Iraq, Baghdad is the latest city to attain a New Zealand embassy. The new embassy will be headed by career diplomat James Munro, who is both an Arabic speaker and former military officer. Munro has been posted to Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia within his military career, so is familiar with the Middle Eastern culture.
Munro will look to operate the NZ embassy out of the Australian Embassy in Baghdad. This alliance with Australia is also present in military efforts, in which New Zealand currently has a joint mission with Australia at Camp Taji. At this camp, North of Baghdad, military personal are attempting to train local security forces against the extreme uprising within the country.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully said Mr Munro’s main responsibility will be to support New Zealand officers who are currently training at Camp Taji. However Mr Munro will also assess how New Zealand can better support and enhance cross-cultural relations with Iraq.