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Goff Welcomes US Congressional Delegation

16th August 2001


Foreign Minister Phil Goff is pleased to welcome the visit to New Zealand by the United States Congressional delegation headed by Chairman Henry Hyde.

Chairman Hyde is the Chairman of the US House of Representatives International Relations Committee (HIRC), which is charged with overseeing U.S. foreign policy programs and agencies.

Apart from a meeting with Mr Goff, the delegation will meet with Defence Minister Mark Burton and will attend a lunch hosted by The Speaker, the Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Chairman Hyde and his Congress colleagues. The HIRC has a diverse portfolio and issues to be discussed will include regional security, trade and bilateral political relations.

"I welcome the fact that Chairman Hyde and two of his colleagues in the delegation signed the recent US Congressional letter to President Bush, promoting a free trade agreement between the United States and New Zealand.

"New Zealand has a longstanding interest in cooperating closely with the US in seeking trade liberalisation and this visit will help further that process," Mr Goff said.

During his visit, Chairman Hyde, a combat veteran in the U.S. Navy during World War II, will attend a wreathlaying ceremony at the Auckland War Memorial.

The full list of Congressmen is –

- Chairman Henry J. Hyde (Republican - Illinois)
- Congressman Michael Bilirakis (Republican - Florida)
- Congressman Paul E Gillmor (Republican - Ohio)
- Congressman Melvin Watts (Democrat - North Carolina)
- Congressman Darrell Issa (Republican - California)
- Congressman John J. LaFalce (Democrat - New York)

The delegation arrives on Friday and will depart New Zealand on Sunday.

The wreathlaying ceremony will take place at the Auckland War Memorial from at 10am on Saturday 18th August.


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