'It is wrong': New Zealand-Australia clash over responsibility of terrorist with dual nationality

WION Web Team
Wellington, New ZealandUpdated: Feb 16, 2021, 10:38 AM IST


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The Australian government has shrieked from taking her responsibility, which has now angered Ardern

The two neighbouring countries, Australia and New Zealand seem to be in a bad position with each other over the nationality of the terrorist arrested in Turkey.

A 26-year-old woman was reportedly arrested this week in Turkey with her two children. The woman was arrested by the Turkish authorities near the Syrian border and is believed to be a member of the Islamic State extremist group.

This woman is believed to hold dual citizenship of Australia and New Zealand. However, Australia seems to be backing away from taking her responsibility.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, this time, has not shied away from telling her Australian counterpart that his country is at "wrong" this time.

"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."

It is believed the accused had spent the majority of her childhood and adult life in Australia and also has her family members settled there. However, the Australian government has shrieked from taking her responsibility, which has now angered Ardern.

"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," Ardern 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."

Ardern has accused Australia of cancelling her citizenship after her arrest, leaving New Zealand solely responsible for her terrorism-related activities and involvements.

Australia PM Scott Morrison, meanwhile, has defended this action as the best possible way to ensure the nation's 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," Morrison said in a press conference. 

However, he has also ensured that he will have a dialogue with Ardern. "There is still a lot more unknown about this case and where it sits and where it may go to next," he said.

Ardern has also requested Morrison to consider the future of the two children too, who have been caught in the crossfire through no fault of their own.

"Coming to New Zealand, where they have no immediate family, would not be in their best interests. We know that young children thrive best when surrounded by people who love them," she said.