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Keeping the peace

The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), a 12 nation independent organisation established to uphold the conditions set down in the Treaty of Peace signed between Egypt and Israel in 1979, plays a critical role in maintaining stability in the Middle East. Our contribution to this peace-keeping mission makes a significant difference.

1982 - TODAY

New Zealand participates in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), a peace-keeping mission established in 1982. Its aim is to ensure compliance with the security arrangements of the 1979 Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel and to observe, report and verify each country’s military presence in the Treaty zones on both sides of the border between Egypt and Israel.

NZDF has played a significant and long-standing role in the peacekeeping mission in the Middle East.  

The origins of the MFO lie in the 1979 Treaty of Peace between Egypt and Israel, which was brokered by US President Jimmy Carter during the preceding Camp David talks. The two Treaty parties, Egypt and Israel, undertook to request the United Nations to provide a force and observers to supervise the implementation of the Treaty, but when this was not possible, they negotiated a further protocol establishing the MFO “as an alternative” to the envisioned UN force.  The protocol was signed in 1981, and the MFO was established on 25 April 1982.

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In October 2021, members of the New Zealand contingent at the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping mission in the Sinai take part in a 45km march around camp in memory of the fallen.

Since then, New Zealand has contributed Defence Force personnel to the force continuously. Command of the force rotates between nations. Operation Farad, as the deployment is known, typically involves 30 New Zealand Defence Force peacekeepers which cover a number of roles including drivers, trainers, engineers, staff officers and a command team. New Zealand currently provides the Force Commander, Major General Evan Williams.