New Zealand Scolds Ally Australia for Rejecting Accused Islamic State Terrorist

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - FEBRUARY 12: Minister of Health Andrew Little (L) listens to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking at the announcement about the arrival of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on February 12, 2021 in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand's first COVID-19 vaccine is set to arrive next week …
Dave Rowland/Getty

For the second time in less than a month New Zealand’s left-wing Labour government has attacked key ally Australia, with an angry Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lashing Canberra on Tuesday for rejecting a dual national arrested in Turkey over links to the Islamic State terrorist group.

A handout picture taken on February 15, 2021 shows a 26-year-old woman (R), who had held New Zealand and Australian citizenships, and her two children escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers after trying to enter Turkey illegally from Syria at Reyhanli district in Hatay. - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern angrily accused Australia on February 16, 2021 of shirking its responsibility for a dual national arrested in Turkey with alleged links to the Islamic State militant group. The 40-year-old leader said Australia had abdicated its responsibilities by unilaterally cancelling the citizenship, forcing New Zealand to shoulder the responsibility for the woman, who has not lived in New Zealand since she was 6. (Photo by IZZET NAZLI / Demiroren News Agency (DHA) / AFP) (Photo by IZZET NAZLI/Demiroren News Agency (DHA)/AFP via Getty Images)

A 26-year-old woman (R), who had held New Zealand and Australian citizenships, and her two children escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers after trying to enter Turkey illegally.  (AFP via Getty Images)

In a blunt rebuttal of her counterpart Scott Morrison, Ardern said Australia was “wrong” to expect New Zealand to accept the woman, who she said had strong ties to Australia.

“Any fair minded person would consider this person an Australian and that is my view too,” Ardern said in a statement. “We believe Australia has abdicated its responsibilities.”

The 26-year-old woman was reportedly arrested with her two children this week by Turkish authorities near the Syrian border and identified as a member of Islamic State.

Ardern said the woman had been a dual Australian-New Zealand citizen until authorities in Canberra cancelled her passport, making her Wellington’s responsibility.

“It is wrong that New Zealand should shoulder the responsibility for a situation involving a woman who has not lived in New Zealand since she was six,” she said.

“(The woman) has resided in Australia since that time, has her family in Australia and left for Syria from Australia on her Australian passport.”

Morrison defended his government’s decision as in “Australia’s national security interests”.

“We do not want to see terrorists who fought with terrorism organisations enjoying privileges of citizenship, which I think they forfeit the second they engage as an enemy of our country,” he said during a press conference in Canberra.

Morrison’s rejection of the accused terror associate is consistent with his conservative coalition government’s strict stance on deporting people back across the Tasman Sea who have tenuous ties to the country, as Breitbart News reported.

It has wide support within his own party from those who who see a sovereign Australia as more than capable of making its own decisions despite a running commentary from the neighbours :

Australia in 2014 introduced mandatory deportation for any and all foreign nationals who received jail terms totalling 12 months or more, with New Zealand most affected.

About 1,500 Kiwis have been caught in the dragnet – almost half the total of 4,000 – and Wellington has raised concerns some of those deported allegedly grew up in Australia and have no ties to New Zealand.

Tuesday’s scolding by Ardern, a former policy adviser to ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair,  comes less than three weeks after her government took Canberra to task for its dealings with China, warning Canberra it should “show respect” to Beijing.

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com

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