Kiwi-Aussie row erupts over terrorist in Turkey
In an unusually blunt message to her counterpart Scott Morrison, Ardern said Canberra was “wrong” to expect New Zealand to accept the woman, who have 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 arrested with her two children this week by Turkish authorities near the Syrian border and identified as a member of ISIL.
Ardern said the woman had been a dual citizen until authorities in Canberra canceled 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,” she added.
Morrison defended the decision as in “Australia’s national security interests.” He added that he would speak with Ardern further, saying: “There is still a lot more unknown about this case and where it sits and where it may go to next.”