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Visit to Australia by the Prime Minister

15 February 2000
Visit to Australia by the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that she will be visiting Sydney from 1 to 2 March for talks with her Australian counterpart, John Howard.

"This will be the first opportunity for me to meet Mr Howard since the election," Helen Clark said.

In recent years, an informal meeting early in the year has been held between the New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers to look ahead to the year's events and discuss the range of issues on which New Zealand and Australia will be cooperating closely.

"I believe such meetings are an important feature of the bilateral relationship," Helen Clark said.

"Australia has long been New Zealand's most important bilateral link. It is New Zealand's most important trading partner, and the largest market for our goods and services. New Zealand and Australia have a great deal in common. We co-operate closely together on trans-Tasman issues, in the region, and around the world. Our shared commitment to peacekeeping and to alleviating the plight of the people of East Timor has brought us together in the Australian-led INTERFET deployment and in the United Nations peacekeeping operation.

"Our meeting in March will offer the opportunity to review the bilateral relationship, and exchange views on regional issues and the global challenges we face."

While in Sydney, the Prime Minister will meet the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr. The Prime Minister will also receive a briefing on New Zealand preparations for the Sydney Olympic Games, to be held in September, and visit the Olympic Games facilities at Homebush Bay.

ENDS

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