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George Bush Snubs Helen Clark


George Bush Snubs Helen Clark

"It is clear that George Bush's enthusiastic acceptance of John Howard's invitation to visit Australia around the time of the APEC meeting later this year will be matched with a stony silence towards New Zealand" ACT Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"During Helen Clark's recent visit to Washington she proudly proclaimed that George Bush was invited to visit this country. President Bush has no intention of taking up the invitation.

"Helen Clark's insulting "Gore Gaffe" and limp apology will long be remembered in Washington. New Zealand is now estranged from the US Administration thanks to our Prime Minister.

"This estrangement is not confined to a Republican Administration in Washington. Former President Bill Clinton and presidential aspirant Hilary Clinton have both enthusiastically endorsed George Bush's stance over the Iraq issue.

"New Zealand struggles for relevance and influence in international affairs due to our size and location. Helen Clark's unfriendly gestures towards our powerful, traditional friends will not be offset by her vain attempts to forge new friendships with France, Germany and Russia. New Zealand is now trapped in its own backwater of irrelevancy which can only damage us as a nation.

"To lose the opportunity of developing a free trade agreements with the United States will have serious repercussions to the New Zealand economy. It is now clear that no progress will be made without an administrative change in Wellington," Mr Shirley said.

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