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Productive trip to Washington for Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs


20 July 2006
Media statement

Productive trip to Washington for Peters

Foreign Minister Winston Peters today ended a busy and extremely productive visit to Washington during which he met senior figures of the United States Administration, Senators and Congressional Representatives.

“In a week when there’s been so much going on internationally, especially in the Middle East, it was very useful to exchange views with senior US Administration and Congressional leaders,” Mr Peters said.

The Minister met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser JD Crouch; Senators John McCain, Richard Lugar (Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee), and Lisa Murkowski (Chair of the FRC's East Asian and Pacific subcommittee). He also met Representatives Jim Leach (Chair of the International Relations subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific), Jim Kolbe and Ellen Tauscher (Co-Chairs of the Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus), and other members of the Caucus.

Mr Peters said that the purpose of his visit was to highlight the fundamental importance of New Zealand’s relationship with United States.

“Our relations with the United States are long-standing, and based on our shared interests and values as free and democratic countries. I’ve made it clear since taking up this position the importance I attach to strengthening that relationship further. Making contact and undertaking dialogue with key counterparts on the US side is a vital part of that process.

"Discussions ranged across a wide range of global and regional issues. Naturally current international developments, such as the Middle East, featured prominently but we also talked about New Zealand’s contributions to regional stability in Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.

"The talks underlined that New Zealand and the US share common interests and objectives in many areas of foreign policy, providing opportunities for closer cooperation.

“This visit has provided a strong platform for strengthening further what is a very important relationship for New Zealand,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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