Wellington, Feb 16 (IANS) New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accused Australia of “abdicating its responsibilities” amid a row over a woman accused of having links to the Islamic State terror group.
The 26-year-old woman had held both Australian and New Zealand citizenship until Canberra revoked it last year. She is facing deportation to New Zealand after being caught entering Turkey from Syria with two children, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
Ardern, however, said the woman should be sent to Australia.
She said the woman – who the Turkish Ministry of National Defence has identified as a member of IS – had not lived in New Zealand since she was a child.
“They left New Zealand at the age of six, were resident in Australia from that time, became an Australian citizen, left from Australia to Syria, and travelled on an Australian passport,” she said.
She summed up by saying: “New Zealand frankly, is tired of having Australia exporting its problems.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded by saying his job was to protect “Australia’s interests”.
He added that the legislation passed in parliament automatically cancels the citizenship of a dual citizen accused of being engaged in terrorist activities.
Morrison said he was scheduled to speak with Ardern on Tuesday.