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Goff Heads To Chile And US


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

23 March 2001

GOFF HEADS TO CHILE AND US


Foreign Minister Phil Goff leaves on Monday on a trip encompassing Chile and the United States which will see him attending an inaugural conference in Santiago and conducting a series of meetings with the new administration in Washington.

Mr Goff's visit to Chile and the United States will take place from 26 March to 5 April.

He will be attending the first Ministerial meeting of the East Asia Latin American Forum (EALAF), which will be held in Santiago on 29-30 March.

"EALAF is a relatively new forum which is designed to promote greater cooperation and understanding between East Asian (which includes New Zealand and Australia) and Latin American regions.

"The meeting will look at issues of regional interest such as technological development, social and cultural diversity and the challenges of globalisation.

"I will also be having bilateral meetings with a number of Foreign Ministers from Latin America and Asia," Mr Goff said.

While in Chile, Mr Goff will meet with the Chilean Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Economy and Agriculture, the Vice-Minister of Justice, and the President of the Senate. He will also visit New Zealand business interests in Chile. It will be the first visit by a New Zealand Foreign Minister to Chile in three years.

"Chile and New Zealand are already strong friends, and with the launch of the Government's Latin America Strategy last year, relations are set to move to a new level," he said.

From Chile, Mr Goff will travel to Washington DC for a series of meetings on 2-3 April.

"The US leg of the visit will be New Zealand's first face-to-face Ministerial contact with the new Bush administration. I am looking forward to building relationships with a number of key administration figures," said Mr Goff.

Among those the Minister is expected to meet are Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

"As well as sharing our views on global and regional security issues, including recent developments in East Timor, the Pacific, and North and South East Asia, we will also be discussing broader trade and economic issues. I also plan to raise New Zealand's interest in a Closer Economic Partnership with the United States," said Mr Goff.

Jim Sutton will be Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade during Mr Goff's trip.

ENDS

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