Goff to Visit Europe
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff, leaves for Europe on 6 - 15 May to visit Lisbon, Brussels, Berlin and London.
A major reason for trip is to attend Zealand’s twice-yearly Ministerial Consultations with the European Union Presidency which are held at Foreign Minister level (Portugal is current EU President). The consultations with each Presidency are key elements in New Zealand’s Political Declaration with the EU. While in Portugal Mr Goff will meet Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, as well as Foreign Minister Dr Jaime Gama. The current situation and future prospects for East Timor are likely to feature largely in the discussions.
In Brussels Mr Goff will meet key EU players including former NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana (now leading the EU on foreign and security policy), Chris Patten (External Relations Commissioner – further discussions on the Political Declaration) and David Byrne (food safety). In Germany the Minister has a meeting with Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and with members of the Bundestag Australia-New Zealand Committee. The Minister is expected to discuss current regional security issues with Solana and Fischer, including the situation in Chechnya and the Balkans. Mr Goff will brief them on developments in the South Pacific and East Timor.
In both Berlin and Brussels the Minister will open new New Zealand Chanceries participating on each occasion in hiki tapu ceremonies with invited guests.
Mr Goff’s London programme includes a meeting and lunch with Foreign Secretary Robin Cook (Zimbabwe/Iraq sanctions/EU developments) and meetings with John Battle (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister for Asia-Pacific – recent developments in our region) and Home Secretary Jack Straw (eg crime prevention/restorative justice/victims issues). Zimbabwe and the Solomon Islands are expected to be among the issues discussed when the Minister calls on the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Don McKinnon.
Details of the Minister’s itinerary:
Monday 8 May
8.00 pm (Lisbon)
Working dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Dr Jaime Gama
Tuesday 9 May
Meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres
Lunch with Portuguese Foreign Minister
Depart Lisbon for Brussels
Opening of new Chancery
Meeting with Javier Solana, High Representative for EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
Working lunch with Chris Patten, EU Commissioner for External Relations
Meeting with David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection
Thur 11 May
Meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer
Meeting with Chairman and selected members of Australia-New Zealand Committee of the Bundestag
Friday 12 May
Opening of new Chancery
Monday 15 May
Meeting with Rt Hon Robin Cook MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Lunch hosted by Foreign Secretary followed by press conference
Meeting with Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Secretary of State
for the Home Department
Meeting with Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General
Meeting with John Battle, Minister of State at the FCO
Meeting with Donald Anderson MP, Chairman Foreign Affairs Select Committee, House of Commons
Opportunity for media interviews from New Zealand Residence, tel 0044171 352 9212, 6.30 am, Tuesday 16 May, New Zealand time)
Depart for New Zealand