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Another Labour foreign policy blunder

Another Labour foreign policy blunder

Foreign Minister Phil Goff needs to urgently clarify the Labour Government’s attitude towards New Zealand’s relationship with Australia, says National’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, Lockwood Smith.

The Government has once again insulted traditional allies, Australia and the United States, with Trade Minister Jim Sutton describing New Zealand’s relationship with China as its most important.

“China is an emerging economic and military superpower and, of course, our relationship with Beijing is very important,” Dr Smith said.

“But Australia will always be New Zealand’s most important international partner, along with the United States.

“That’s true with respect to our diplomatic, military, economic, trade and environmental priorities.

“For Jim Sutton to claim that another country trumps Australia and the United States in importance is another slap in the face to our traditional allies.

“Mr Sutton’s blunder follows a long line of Labour foreign policy bumbling, including the Prime Minister’s comments about President Bush last year. It comes just days after key United States Senators visited New Zealand to talk about the difficult diplomatic hurdles to a free trade agreement.

“A clarifying statement by Phil Goff is needed now to avoid any repercussions from Jim Sutton’s latest blunder,” Dr Smith concluded.

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