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Cablegate: New Zealand: What Nuclear Issue? Pm Clark

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000613

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/ANP
NSC FOR GREEN, JONES

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/18/2014
TAGS: PGOV PREL PARM NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND: WHAT NUCLEAR ISSUE? PM CLARK
PUBLICLY CITES MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT AND MIL-MIL
INTERACTION AS SIGN NUKE ISSUE IS FADING


Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION, DAVID R. BURNETT,
FOR REASONS 1.5(B,D)

1. (SBU) In comments about the US-New Zealand relationship,
NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark told Australia's ABC radio July
8 "I must say that I personally have met George Bush a number
of times and consider the personal relationship between us to
be very good." Making a direct link between those meetings
and NZ's anti-nuclear stance, PM Clark added that she was
"optimistic that over time what happened over 20 years ago
will be of less and less relevance to these relationships."
Clark went on to say that the world had moved on from the
ANZUS agreement of 1951, and signaled her belief that NZ
would not gain from reinstating the Alliance, which the US
suspended in 1987 in response to the GoNZ's anti-nuclear
legislation. Blaming the USG for having made NZ's
anti-nuclear legislation "a problem" between the two nations
and noting that NZ was "absolutely entitled" to make its
nuclear-free stand, Clark went on to state that overall, NZ's
nuclear stance did not impinge upon "practical" mil-mil
interaction between the US and New Zealand, citing GoNZ
participation in Operation Enduring Freedom as an example.
She did concede, however, that her government's anti-nuclear
legislation caused "a generic problem when it comes to
(military) training."

2. (C) Comment: PM Clark's statements are about as close and
as blunt as she's ever come to confessing something this post
has long observed - that the GoNZ has convinced itself that
naturally friendly but incidental meetings between POTUS and
Clark, together with the inevitably increased mil-mil
operations tempo due to NZ's OEF and Iraq contributions, is
proof that GoNZ policies are wearing down USG resolve on the
nuclear issue. We further note that PM Clark is apparently
much more willing to highlight her excellent relations with
President Bush when speaking to an Australian audience than
to domestic Kiwi audiences.
Swindells

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