Clinton's New Zealand visit aims at building closer relationship

19:26, November 03, 2010      

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United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Wellington early Thursday morning as part of her two-week 10-nation Asia Pacific tour.

Her visit to New Zealand is aimed at building on the relationship between the two nations. The relationship has improved steadily in recent years since a frosty stand-off over New Zealand' s nuclear free two decades ago.

She was in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday and arrives in Wellington early Thursday morning. On Friday, she travels to Christchurch before flying out Saturday for Australia.

Clinton will hold meetings with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Foreign Minister Murray McCully and opposition Labor party leader Phil Goff on Thursday.

In the U.S. State Department's media briefing on Clinton's trip, her time in New Zealand was billed as reaffirming the relationship which had not received much attention in the past 25 years.

Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department ' s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific affairs, said earlier that the so-called Wellington Declaration, which be issued during Clinton's visit, will underscore the U.S. desire to see U.S.-New Zealand relations return to a significance in terms of coordination on a range of issues - non-proliferation, politics, climate change.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said his country will continue to run an independent foreign policy, and that he does not believe it will re-enter an Anzus-style partnership.

Key said that the U.S. relationship is vital, and that its strength is reflected in the visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

New Zealand passed the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act in the 1980s. The Act prohibited nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered ships from entering New Zealand' s waters.

It resulted in the suspension of the Anzus agreement.

Source: Xinhua


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