New Zealand's Defence Force chief has completed a secret trip to Iraq to meet with his counterpart.

Lieutenant General Tim Keating was in Baghdad yesterday and met with general Babakir Zebari, the chief of staff of the Iraqi Army.

The trip was not announced in advance for security reasons.

"General Zebari and I discussed the Iraqi Army's training schedule and specifically the role of New Zealand Defence Force personnel who will soon be training Iraqi Security Forces at the Taji Military Complex near Baghdad," Lieutenant General Keating said.


The two-year deployment is a non-combat mission to train Iraqi soldiers in their fight against Islamic State (Isis).

Australia sent its first troops to Iraq this month, and they will soon be joined by 143 New Zealand soldiers.

Last month, Foreign Minister Murray McCully went to Iraq and held talks with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari.