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Goff to US, Canada and Fiji


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

6 September 2000

Goff to US, Canada and Fiji

Foreign Minister Phil Goff leaves tomorrow for his first Ministerial visit to the United States and Canada. He will stop off in Nadi on the way for his first visit to Fiji since the May coup.

"The primary focus of this travel is the United States of America. After Australia, our relationship with the world's largest economy and only remaining superpower is the most important we have.

"In Washington I will be looking to build on the close working relationship that New Zealand enjoys with the current US administration. I will be emphasising the mutual benefits of the bilateral relationship. I will brief the administration on our recent defence decisions and regional security issues.

"With the US Presidental elections not far away I will be meeting with the Bush and Gore foreign policy teams.

"In New York I will address the UN General Assembly and meet with key Foreign Ministers. At the invitation of the Secretary General of the Commonwealth I will participate in a meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group for its discussion on Fiji and the Solomons.

"My visit to Canada will be the first for a New Zealand Foreign Minister for some time. This is another important APEC relationship that deserves regular attention.

"On the way to the United States I will be stopping over in Nadi and meeting with deposed Foreign Minister Tupeni Baba and the Interim Government Foreign Minister, Kaliopate Tavola.

"I will press the Interim Government for a concrete timetable for an early return to democracy. I will indicate that without a democratic mandate, the Interim Government lacks constitutional legitimacy and that it should seek to become more representative by including within it members of the former Chaudhry Government.

"I will also be asking the Interim Government to guarantee the safety of displaced Indo-Fijians who return to their homes. I will be seeking assurances that these people will be compensated for the loss of their homes and livestock.

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Brief itinerary:

7 September:
Depart Auckland 1850 for Nadi, Fiji

8 September:
Morning, Nadi. Meet with People's Coalition Foreign Minister, Tupeni Baba, Interim Government Foreign Minister, Kaliopate Tavola, Attorney General Alipate Qetaki.
Then travel Nadi to Honolulu.

8 September (US time):
Honolulu. Visit Camp Smith (US Pacific Command) and Asia Pacific Centre for Strategic Studies (speech there on regional security).

10 September:
Travel Honolulu to Ottawa.

11 September:
Ottawa. Meetings incl. Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy

12-13 September:
Washington. Meetings incl. Attorney General Janet Reno, Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of Defence, Rudy de Leon, Paul Wolfowitz, senir Bush adviser, Leon Fuerth, Gore's National Security Adviser. 13 September speech at NZ Embassy.

14 -15 September:
New York. Speech to United Nations General Assembly, 12pm, 15 September. Meetings incl. Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Danny Philip, Chilean Foreign Minister, Mrs Soledad Alvear, UK Foreign Minister, Robin Cook, Indonesian Foreign Minister, Alwi Shihab, New Zealand/EU consultations, Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.

15 September 1830, depart New York.

18 September 0555, arrive Auckland.

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