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Goff Visit To Europe April 29 To May 12

29 April 2002

Foreign Minister Phil Goff leaves today for a meeting with the European Union presidency and six-nation visit to Europe in which he will travel to Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic.

“In Bosnia I will meet with New Zealand peacekeepers. We have 27 peacekeepers in Bosnia in addition to the observers in Croatia and Kosovo. I will acknowledge New Zealand’s gratitude for their efforts with the presentation of medals marking their involvement in the peacekeeping exercise.

“During the visit I will have talks with Bosnian President Belkic and Foreign Minister Lagumdzija. The discussion will focus on security concerns in the region and actions being taken to hold to account those responsible for war crimes.

“In Croatia I will open the New Zealand Consulate in Zagreb which is another mark of the growing bilateral relationship between our two countries. There are already longstanding links with a strong Dalmatian community in New Zealand. I will meet with Croatian President Mesic and Foreign Minister Picula.

“While in Italy I will be promoting interest in the forthcoming America’s Cup regatta, attending a function for the Cup and a media conference with local journalists.

“The visit to Spain is to attend the twice-yearly Ministerial Consultation with the European Union Presidency. These will be held with Spanish Foreign Minister Pique and EU External Relations Commissioner, Chris Patten.

“A key focus of talks with the EU will be the situation in the Middle East. I will also be discussing trade issues, the coalition against terrorism, peacekeeping in Europe, climate change and human rights.

“It will also provide an opportunity to discuss the EU sanctions against Zimbabwe and what further ongoing action should be taken against the Mugabe regime.

“The visits to Poland and the Czech Republic aim to strengthen New Zealand’s political and trading relations with the countries of central Europe, who will become members of the European Union upon its enlargement in 2004.

“The European Union is one of our largest trading partners and the impact of enlargement on the Common Agriculture Policy has significant implications for us.

“I will open the New Zealand Consulate in Warsaw marking the growing relationship between the two countries.

“While in the two countries I will honour New Zealand’s war dead who lie there. This will including laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw and visiting New Zealand war graves in the Czech Republic,” Mr Goff said.

Contacts: Rob Taylor (travelling with Minister) – 021 420 132
John Tulloch (press secretary) – 04 471 9794 or 021 278 7233.

For arranging interviews with the Minister it is best to go through John Tulloch in the first instance.

Basic Itinerary

(all times and dates listed as NZ times/dates accounting for time difference of 10 hours)

Monday 29 April

6:30pm: Depart Auckland for Bosnia

Wednesday 1 May (BOSNIA)

1:45am: Arrive Sarajevo, Bosnia

5:00am: Meet with Bosnian Reserve Bank Governor, Dr Peter Nicholl.

8:00pm: Call on Bosnia Foreign Minister Dr Zlatko Lagumdzija.

9:00pm: Call on Bosnian President, Beriz Belkic.

Thursday 2 May (BOSNIA, CROATIA)

2:00am to 5:00am: Visit NATO-led Stabilisation Force (including 27 New Zealand Defence Force personnel) based at Banja Luka, Bosnia.

8:00pm: Call on Croatian Foreign Minister Dr Tonino Picula.

9:15pm: Open New Zealand Honorary Consulate.

10:30pm: Call on President Stjepan Mesic.

Friday 3 May (ITALY)

11:30pm: America’s Cup function hosted by Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Margherita Boniver.

Saturday 4 May – Sunday 5 May: TRAVEL

Monday 6 May (SPAIN)

10:00pm to 11:45pm: New Zealand/European Union consultations

Tuesday 7 May (SPAIN)

1:30am: Bilateral with Spanish Foreign Minister Pique.

2:30am: Bilateral with EU External Relations Commissioner, Chris Patten.

Wednesday 8 May (POLAND)

4:00am: Open Honorary Consulate in Warsaw.

6:00pm(approx): Lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

8:00pm: Talks with Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

10:30pm (time tbc) Meeting with President Aleksander Kwasniewski to be followed by meeting with Prime Minister Leszek Miller.

Thursday 9 May (CZECH REPUBLIC)

7:00pm: Visit Commonwealth War Graves, Prague.

8:15pm: Meeting with President Vaclav Havel.

9:00pm: Meeting with Foreign Minister Jan Kavan.

Friday 10 May – Sunday 12 May (TRAVEL TO NZ)

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