NZ FM: more military exercises with U.S. likely

15:45, November 05, 2010      

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New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said on Friday that the Wellington Declaration signed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is likely to see more military training and exercises with the United States, though some restrictions will remain.

Hillary Clinton is in New Zealand as part of her visit to the Asia-Pacific region and signed the Wellington Declaration with McCully on Thursday.

The declaration formalizes a new strategic partnership between the two countries, commits to regular meetings at foreign minister level, working together on trade and holding annual military talks.

McCully told Radio New Zealand that there have always been limitations on interactions because of New Zealand's nuclear free legislation.

"It means that while Australia and the United States have an alliance, we don't have one, and we had to try and find a new, positive way of expressing a partnership that wasn't an alliance," he said.

He added that they've made it very clear New Zealand makes its own decisions, and has an independent foreign policy.

McCully said that changing the military relationship between the two countries has been an incremental process.

Source: Xinhua


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