New Zealand, U.S. sign Wellington Declaration on closer relationship

13:26, November 04, 2010      

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Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully on Thursday launched a Declaration establishing a new Strategic Partnership between New Zealand and the United States.

The Wellington Declaration asserts the establishment of "the framework of a new United States -- New Zealand strategic partnership to shape future practical cooperation and political dialogue."

New Zealand and the United States will work more closely together on practical projects in the Pacific, with a focus on challenges such as renewable energy, and natural disaster readiness and response.

The Strategic Partnership is also focused on regular high level political dialogue. Ministerial level meetings will be held regularly, and political military talks will take place at officials level annually.

"We'll also make sure that our subject experts meet regularly -- there's no point in working in isolation on issues like climate change, or non-proliferation and disarmament," said the New Zealand foreign minister.

High level officials talks will also be held between New Zealand,the United States and Australia, with a focus on Pacific regional priorities.

McCully said the launching of the Declaration is "highly symbolic." "It turns a new page in the relationship and establishes a framework for close cooperation across a whole range of fields of shared interest."

Hillary Clinton arrived in Wellington early Thursday morning amid heavy security.

She was in New Zealand as part of her two-week 10-nation tour of the Asia Pacific region, flying overnight to Wellington from Papua New Guinea.

Clinton held meetings with New Zealand Priem Minister John Key, Foreign Minister Murray McCully and opposition Labour party leader Phil Goff on Thursday afternoon.

She will fly to the South Island city of Christchurch on Friday to attend two American embassy events and visit American troops stationed at U.S. Antarctic Program Center.

She will fly to Australia on Saturday.

Source: Xinhua


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