NZ PM speaks bluntly to Australia on Tuesday as dual national arrested in Turkey with alleged links to the militant Islamic State group.
WELLINGTON: Jacinda Ardern said the woman was dual Australian-New Zealand national. Until the Canberra authorities revoked her passport and surrendered her position to Wellington.
In an unusually sincere message to his colleague Scott Morrison. Ardern said Canberra was “wrong” in expecting New Zealand to accept women he said had close ties to Australia.
“Any fair person will accept that person as Australian, and that is my opinion,” Ardern said in one statement. “We believe Australian government has let go of its responsibilities.”
The 26-year-old woman arrested this week by Turkish authorities with her two children near the Syrian border. Whereas they identified as a member of the Islamic State militant group.
Media reported that the woman took to a Turkish court in the southeastern province of Hatay for questioning.
The Turkish Defense Ministry cleared the family as New Zealand nationals who tried to enter the country “illegally from Syria”. That’s why “they captured by our border security guards”.
But Ardern said the woman had not lived in New Zealand since she was six. So, it is “wrong for New Zealand to take responsibility for her”.
“She lived in Australia since then. Also has family in Australia and traveled from Australia to Syria on her Australian passport,” he added.
Australia defends this allegation
Morrison defended his government’s decision as “in the interests of Australia’s internal security”.
“We don’t need terrorists who fight with terrorist organizations to enjoy citizenship rights. I think they will give up once they commit to becoming enemies of our country,” he said at a press conference in Canberra.
But Morrison added that he would continue to speak with Ardern, saying, “There is much more that is not known about this case and where it is and where it is next”. NZ PM speaks bluntly also to urged Australia to reflect on the well-being of the girls.
“These children were born in a conflict zone through no fault of their own,” he said.
“Coming to New Zealand where they have no immediate family will not be in their best interest. We know that young children thrive best when they are surrounded by people who care for them”. Ardern said New Zealand was also a commitment by the Turkish government in regard of problem.
Wellington has previously criticized Australia for deporting people across the Tasman Sea which it has weak ties to with the country.
Since 2014, some 3,000 New Zealanders in Australia have had their visas revoked “by virtue of their nature” – which does not necessarily require criminal penalties.
Ardern said many of those deported have spent most of their lives in Australia and described the problem as “damaging” relations between neighbors.