Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Hillary gave a TV interview and made an appearance at the Spark Arena in Auckland.

Hillary Clinton has ruled out running in the 2020 US presidential election but says she’ll be “very active” in this year’s mid-term elections.

The former US Secretary of State, former First Lady and America’s first ever female presidential candidate spoke to Hilary Barry on TVNZ1’s Seven Sharp ahead of a speech at Auckland’s Spark Arena tonight.

Now free from the constraints of public office, Ms Clinton is touring the globe, speaking frankly about what it was like to run in the most controversial US presidential election of all time in 2016.

Asked would she run again, Ms Clinton replied: “No, No. But I am going to be very active in this upcoming election in 2018 because that will be the turning point.”

The mid-term elections in November will take place in the middle of President Donald Trump’s term. All 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.

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Hillary Clinton has spoken out against what she says are the “impossibly high standards” women who aspire to leadership roles are held to.

Ms Clinton says the “minute a women (in the US) stands up and says ‘Id like to lead’ everything changes”

Speaking to an audience in Auckland tonight, Ms Clinton – who ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election quoted recent comments from former US First Lady Michelle Obama.

“A few days ago Michelle Obama pointed out the consequences of holding women to impossibly high standards,” Ms Clinton said.

“She (Ms Obama) said: ‘If we still have this crazy bar for each other that we don’t have for men. If we’re not comfortable that a women could be a president then we have to have these conversations with ourselves.'”

“I think she’s so right. This is something we have to explore, understand and change.”

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An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

A Maori kapa haka group perform during An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton at Spark Arena on May 7, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley interviews Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton at Spark Arena on May 7, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland

An Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - AucklandAn Evening With Hillary Rodham Clinton - Auckland



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Hillary’s Spring resumption of her book tour brings her to NZ and Australia.

Kersti Ward was the only person working at Parnell Baby Boutique on Sunday morning when former first lady and one-time ...

Kersti Ward was the only person working at Parnell Baby Boutique on Sunday morning when former first lady and one-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walked into the store.

Parnell Baby Boutique employee Kersti Ward was the only person on shift when she saw security staff outside the store on Sunday morning.

Ward assumed pregnant Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may have been paying them a visit, but was “shocked” when none other than Clinton walked through the door.

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Hillary Clinton tucked into some of the country’s finest cuisine before taking a stroll back to her hotel at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour on Sunday evening.

The former United States first lady looked relaxed and was flanked by a group of minders after her evening meal as she made her way home.

A staffer at Soul Bar confirmed that the former secretary of state had eaten at the waterfront restaurant.

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Hillary Clinton is in NZ on a speaking tour, part of a series called the “Women World Changers”.

Hillary Clinton has met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland.

The pair met at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Hotel, where Clinton is staying, for breakfast on Monday morning. Their meeting was closed to media.

Ardern’s press secretary has shared a selfie of the pair, and confirmed they exchanged gifts, though no specifics of the breakfast, gifts or discussion were released.

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Hillary Clinton announces Australia and New Zealand tour

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Australia and New Zealand to talk about her experiences during the 2016 US presidential election.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Australia and New Zealand to talk about her experiences during the 2016 US presidential election. Source: AAP

Hillary Clinton is coming to Australia to talk about her future plans after losing the 2016 US election to Donald Trump.

The former Democratic presidential candidate is expected to give a candid account of the campaign and share stories from her New York Times bestseller, What Happened.

In an election marked by rage, sexism, misogyny and Russian interference, Ms Clinton will share her personal experience as the first woman presidential candidate for a major party.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for a photograph with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully and Australian Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, August 31, 2012. [State Department photo by Ola Thorsen/ Public Domain]

Meets With Staff From Supporting Embassies


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Maniua Beach Hotel
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
August 31, 2012


Thank you so much, Ambassador, and thanks to all of you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support on this trip. This is not a typical trip where you go to Wellington and Christchurch and Auckland. This took a lot of effort by everyone, and I’ve very grateful to you.

I want to thank the Ambassador for his leadership here at the mission, and also each and every one of you, both Americans and New Zealanders alike for helping us deepen and strengthen the already important bonds between the United States and New Zealand.

I thought it was very important that I come to the Pacific Islands Forum to really demonstrate unequivocally the importance that the Obama Administration and our government placed on sustainable relationships with the Pacific Island nations. It’s been great being here, everybody has a smile, they’re all waving, they’re all enthusiastic about us being here, and I couldn’t ever imagine.

But I know how challenging it was to actually do this from long distance, and then once you got here. So a special word of thanks on behalf of myself and the entire American delegation. We brought in ambassadors from three other countries, we have the commander of the Pacific Command, commander of the Coast Guard Command based in Hawaii, so we have a full complement of American officials who are here that you are supporting, and we’re grateful to you.

And finally, people often say, “Well, you know, New Zealand, that’s got to be an easy, great place to serve.” But after earthquakes and challenges that you have faced just in that time I’ve been Secretary, I want you to know how much we know that your work is important, because it’s not only the bilateral relationships, it’s partnering with New Zealand and Australia to enable us to really have a strong, lasting presence in the Pacific. And that is what all of you are doing. I mean, there’s not much we can do to improve the health of New Zealanders or Aussies, but there’s a lot we can do working together to improve the health of the Pacific Islands. And same goes true for education, for economic development, and so much more. So I’ve already had great meetings with my counterparts from New Zealand and Australia, and we’re going to continue to build on that firm and very solid foundation.

So with that, let me just shake a few hands. Why don’t you all just come on by and introduce yourselves and say hello?

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Secretary Clinton With New Zealand Prime Minister Key
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand shake hands at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, August 31, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]


Remarks With New Zealand Prime Minister Key


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
New Zealand High Commissioner’s Residence, Cook Islands
August 31, 2012

PRIME MINISTER KEY: Okay, so good afternoon. Welcome to Ngatipa, the New Zealand residence here in the Cook Islands. It’s been a pleasure for me to host Secretary Clinton and her team for lunch today. It’s always wonderful to have Secretary Clinton in this part of the world. New Zealand very warmly remembers your visit to our country back in 2010 when you signed the Wellington Declaration, which describes in celebrating the strategic partnership of our two countries here. In the almost two years since Secretary Clinton’s visit to New Zealand, the bilateral relationship has gone from strength to strength. Earlier this year, the Wellington Declaration was complemented by the Washington Declaration (inaudible) relationship.

Secretary Clinton and I discussed a number of areas of cooperation, and I’ll mention just a few. The (inaudible) and the Cook Islands are the forums and executive office is fully committed to supporting inspirations and initiatives of Pacific Island countries. As the outgoing chair of Cook Islands Forum, New Zealand welcomes the full (inaudible) historically strong engagement with the island nations of the Pacific.

We’ve been pleased to announce this week a number of joint initiatives, including the areas of (inaudible) economic development, clean energy, and maritime surveillance. We discussed Afghanistan. New Zealand has stood alongside the United States as part of an international coalition there since 9/11 joined by other countries to tackle the threats posed by al-Qaida and its allies. We’ve endured the terrible loss of life suffered by our coalition partners in Afghanistan, particularly the recent New Zealand and Australian losses and those of the United States.

Secretary Clinton and I discussed the broad range of issues in the Asia Pacific region as we look towards the APEC summit in Russia in around 10 days time. New Zealand warmly supports the United States rebalancing towards the Asia Pacific, and we welcome the opportunity to cooperate with the U.S. in the next conflicts. We discussed our ongoing (inaudible) along side a number of other countries (inaudible) partnership agreement. Secretary Clinton and I share the goal of securing a high quality, (inaudible) free trade agreement, would be a significant (inaudible) countries involved, indeed to the region as a whole.

Before passing over to Secretary Clinton, I’d like to convey publicly my personal gratitude for all that she’s done for the past relations between our two countries and our two peoples over the past four years. Secretary Clinton’s personal interest and involvement in our country is greatly appreciated by the New Zealand people. You’ve been great friends to New Zealand and you’re always welcome (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Prime Minister, thank you very much for the warm welcome that you have provided. As the first Secretary of State to make this journey, I am especially delighted and honored. I was pleased to meet with leaders of the Pacific Island Forum, member states, to attend the Pacific Island Forum, post-forum dialogue where I had a chance to reaffirm the Obama Administration’s commitment to our engagement in the Asia Pacific with an equal emphasis on the Pacific part of that phrase. The United States is very proud to be a Pacific nation, a long history in this region, and we are committed to be here for the long run.

Today, I’m announcing new programs and new funding to support our friends in this region in three key areas: promoting sustainable economic development and protecting biodiversity; advancing regional security; and supporting women of the Pacific as they reach for greater political, economic, and social opportunities.

To give just a few examples, the United States will work with Kiribati to protect its marine ecosystem and help coastal communities throughout the region adapt to the effects of climate change and to develop renewable energy resources.

We will expand our security partnership so U.S. ships can be of even greater help in preventing illegal and unregulated fishing, and we will take additional steps to clean up unexploded ordnance in the region, much of it still there from World War Two. We will support the Rarotonga Partnership for the Advancement of Pacific Island Women, launched just today, and I’ll be looking forward to meeting with women from the region later this afternoon.

I’m also very committed to expanding investment and trade in the region, in pursuit of sustainable economic growth. Later today, I’ll meet with local pearl vendors from here in the Cook Islands who are running their businesses while also protecting marine resources.

Obviously, I could go on because there’s a lot to do in this very important region of the world, and there is no doubt that our relationship with New Zealand provides a strong foundation for our engagement across the Pacific. I especially want to thank Prime Minister Key for his leadership in revitalizing the partnership between New Zealand and the United States. As he said, we signed the Wellington Declaration two years ago, and then in June our countries signed the Washington Declaration, which emphasized our defense cooperation.

We are working together on a number of important issues, from establishing security in Afghanistan where Kiwi soldiers have made extraordinary sacrifices. Just recently, the losses are ones that we are equally grieved by and offer our condolences to the families as well as the people of New Zealand. We also are very appreciative of New Zealand’s leadership in addressing climate change and conserving natural resources and opening the doors of opportunity.

In particular, I want to thank the Prime Minister for his government’s support of women across the region. And we’re going to create an exchange program connecting women in the Pacific with women in the Caribbean who work in agriculture so they can learn from each other and understand better how to improve the incomes and opportunities for themselves and their families.

The United States welcomes the chance to work with a broad array of partners in the region –Japan, the European Union, China – we all have an interest in advancing security, prosperity, and opportunity. And as I said this morning, the Pacific is certainly big enough for all of us. So thank you Prime Minister, the United States values our relationship. We celebrated its 70th anniversary this year. We feel a special kinship and closeness to New Zealand and your people and we continue to look, as you said, for our relationship to go from strength to strength. So thank you again for your leadership and partnership.

MODERATOR: Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Key have kindly allowed two questions from each side. May I remind you to please (inaudible)? We’re going to start with New Zealand and (inaudible).

QUESTION: Good afternoon, Madam Secretary. How concerned is the U.S. that China’s growing influence in the region (inaudible) how it administers aid, and also its growing links with (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: So this is an area that the Prime Minister and I discussed over lunch, and I have to say that we think it is important for the Pacific Island nations to have good relationships with as many partners as possible and that includes China as well as the United States, and we believe there is more that China can do with us, with New Zealand, with Australia, with others, to further sustainable development, improve the health of the people, deal with climate change and the environment, and I look forward to discussing these issues when I am in Beijing next week.

New Zealand sets a good example for the work that we think can be done with China. New Zealand has worked with China on water issues, for example. We want to see more multinational development projects that include the participation of China. And as part of our strategic and economic dialogue with China, we have a section on development. And it’s been my observation over the last four sessions that we have now held that China is becoming more interested in learning from, understanding best practices and cooperating with other countries.

Our policy, as expressed by President Obama and myself many times, is we want a comprehensive, positive, cooperative relationship between the United States and China. We think it is good for our country, it’s good for our people, and in fact, it’s not only good for this region, it’s good for the world. We’ve invested a lot in our strategic and economic dialogue. We speak very frankly about areas where we do not agree. We both raise issues that the other side would prefer perhaps we not, or they not. But I think our dialogue has moved to have a positive arena because we are able to discuss all matters together.

Now here in the Pacific, we want to see China act in a fair and transparent way. We want to see them play a positive role in navigation and maritime security issues. We want to see them contribute to sustainable development for the people of the Pacific; to protect the precious environment, including the ocean; and to pursue economic activity that will benefit the people.

So we think that there’s a great opportunity to work with China, and we’re going to be looking for more ways to do that.

MODERATOR: Next question.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. If I could follow up first a little bit on the previous question. You mentioned that there was room for cooperation between the United States and China in development (inaudible) one introduced here in climate change. Can you tell the leaders of the Pacific Islands that the United States is doing all that it can?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, after the first question, I know Admiral Locklear is here with us and he’s certainly more than capable of speaking for himself about what PACOM is doing. But several things: We are beginning to discuss cooperation with respect to disaster prevention and response. We would like to see China play a role in that. There are a lot of disasters in this region, from earthquakes, which New Zealand knows so well, to tsunamis and cyclones and terrible flooding as we saw in the Philippines just recently. So we think that that is an area that should be explored in more depth.

We also believe, on the aid front, that there is a lot of opportunity for cooperation between us and China. It is something we are modeling after New Zealand. New Zealand has been working on water issues with China, we want to learn the lessons about what works. PACOM has a great reach in the Pacific and is involved in everything from overseeing our hospital ships to working to train local officials in protecting their environment and protecting their water.

We also know that there’s a real threat from climate change, which gets me to your second question. This is real. I will underscore that. It is one that the leaders of these nations speak about with great passion because they are all very low lying land and are worried that they’re going to be swamped in the next 10, 20, 30, 40 years. So we understand very well the feelings that the Pacific Island nations have about climate change. And we stand behind our pledges in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to prompt substantial action to help vulnerable countries adapt.

Among the programs we discussed today at the new coastal community adaptation project. It’s a five-year, $25 million project to help build the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities of the Pacific to withstand extreme weather, and not only in the short run, but rising sea levels over the longer term. USAID, which as you know we brought back to the Pacific and established a headquarters in Papua New Guinea, is contributing $3 million over three years to Germany, coping with climate change in the Pacific Islands programs. And we’re working continually to develop an international consensus on reducing green house gas emissions, and other short – and on the short list – climate pollutants initiative that I started a year ago. As you know, in part because of the economy, U.S. emissions are the lowest that they’ve been in 20 years.

But look, we know we have more to do, and we have made a commitment, we’re going to stick with our commitment. I hope that we’ll be able to go beyond those commitments in the future.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Australia and New Zealand suffered one of the greatest losses of life since the Vietnam War in Afghanistan. Do you think the sacrifice was worth it, and do you (inaudible) stand by the United States?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well first, let me say to both New Zealand and Australia, we are deeply grateful for their participation in this coalition effort under ISAF. And we’re also very sorry about their losses as we are at the loss of any of our coalition partners and ourselves. But I think it’s important to stress that both New Zealand and Australia have played a crucial role in the ISAF mission. Their soldiers and civilians are highly regarded.

New Zealand’s contributions are far beyond what one would ordinarily expect of a country the size of New Zealand. Prime Minister Key and I of course discussed Afghanistan today. I also called Prime Minister Gillard to express condolences and exchange views with her. And I’m gratified that despite the challenges we’ve all had, including the losses that we have suffered at the hands of insurgents and turncoats, we are all resolved to see this mission through as the commitments we’ve made suggest.

I think it’s important to just reflect on the fact that a lot of progress has been made. Any time we lose the lives or see one of our soldiers or civilians – I mean, I lost an aid worker, I have a seriously injured foreign service officer in – at Walter Reed – every time this happens, soldiers and civilians alike. we are reminded of the incredible sacrifice that our nations are making.

But we should also remind ourselves of the progress we have made since we went into this together. Over lunch, the Prime Minister was sharing some statistics from the New Zealand PRT in (inaudible) province that are really impressive in terms of advances in health, education, and infrastructure. So we are committed to seeing this through as we all agreed to at Lisbon, as we reiterated at Chicago, because we cannot afford see Afghanistan turn back into a haven for terrorism that threatens us all. And the work we have done together to prepare the Afghan national security forces to defend themselves and take the security lead is a much greater positive than negative story.

So we offer our condolences, but we also offer our appreciation to the people of New Zealand – soldiers and civilians alike who have been part of this important global effort.

MODERATOR: One last question. Steve Myers from New York Times.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, (inaudible), can you talk a little bit about the (inaudible) this designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization? What is your thinking on the pros and cons of that before the deadline next week? And Prime Minister, if you would, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the prospect of a negotiated settlement with groups like the Haqqani Network or the Taliban as part of the effort to drawing down the war there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steve, I’m not going to comment on any stories about any internal discussions, of course. But I’m aware that I have an obligation to report to Congress. Of course, we will meet that commitment. And I’d like to underscore that we are putting steady pressure on the Haqqanis. That is part of what our military does every single day along with our ISAF partners. We are drawing up their resources, we are targeting their military and intelligence personnel. We are pressing the Pakistanis to step up their own efforts. So we’re already taking action and we’ll have more to say about the specific request from Congress next week.

PRIME MINISTER KEY: Well, as Secretary Clinton indicated, from New Zealand’s point of view, we think two goals in Afghanistan have been to try and train both Afghanis (inaudible) crisis response units in the Afghan police. And we’ve done that – (inaudible) we will be doing it in (inaudible) but we hope (inaudible) look after its own security.

In terms of any negotiation with the Taliban or with groups in Afghanistan, we fundamentally believe that will ultimately be a matter for the Afghan Government, but they will (inaudible) find a way through a very difficult situation and its coming to the (inaudible) I wouldn’t be surprised if some part of it attempts to deliver greater security in Afghanistan some discussion. But it’s ultimately up to President Karzai.

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After all the hoopla about a whole month in East Hampton (not!), it appears that Mme. Secretary might be lucky to catch just one week at her summer rental.   Reports, unconfirmed by the State Department, are coming out of New Zealand that activities in the Cook Islands indicate that she  is expected in the islands for the 16-nation Pacific Forum to be held there starting on August 27.

Apparently the islands lack wide roads, and therefore also SUVs as large as the ones commonly used in her motorcades.  Neither can the airstrip accommodate her 757.  It seems they are seeking to borrow larger SUVs,  and U.S  Navy ships, including an aircraft carrier, are headed for the islands to assist with transportation.

The one bright spot in the possible curtailment of her tiny break is that one account has a certain handsome ex-president Birthday Boy accompanying her.  That would be a refreshing change of pace!


This article from Stuff.co.nz provides the most detail.

Rarotonga almost too small for Hillary Clinton


Tiny Rarotonga is set to host great power politics and diplomatic posturing this week with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reputedly accompanied by her husband Bill, arriving on the island to challenge growing Chinese influence in the South Pacific.


US diplomats and security advisers have been on Rarotonga and Aitutaki to the north checking venues.


The off-limits-to-all-but leaders’ retreat will be on Aitutaki with military aircraft from Australia and New Zealand used to fly them north.


Diplomatic sources say the US Navy has moved several large ships, including an aircraft carrier, toward the Cook Islands to help logistics, including transport between the two islands.


Prime Minister John Key is scheduled to attend the forum but unless he stays for the post-forum dialogue session, he will not meet the Clintons.

The US State Department has yet to confirm Clinton’s trip, and it may yet be derailed by Middle Eastern events, but locals on Rarotonga report extensive security preparations are underway.

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The comment about John Key could mean that they are not expected to attend the entire forum, and perhaps will arrive after a few weeks at their summer rental,  but again, none of this is confirmed by DOS.

Here are a few other articles trumpeting her expected arrival.  This one is from Australia’s Independent.

Welcome to the Cook Islands, Hillary – now, can anyone lend us a motorcade?

Kathy Marks

Saturday 18 August 2012

Life usually dawdles in the Cook Islands, a cluster of coral atolls sprinkled across the South Pacific. But with Hillary Clinton due to visit later this month, the place is in a spin.

For one thing, the government doesn’t have enough cars for an official motorcade.


A team from the US embassy in Wellington was in the islands this week, scouting the facilities. Jaewynn McKay, a local official coordinating preparations for the forum, said the biggest challenge was finding a suitable place for Mrs Clinton to stay with her large entourage.

“I understand she usually travels with 90 [people], but they’ve had to lessen their footprint on this occasion,” Mrs McKay told Associated Press. “We had to tell them we just don’t have the space.”

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This one is from nzherald.co.nz. in New Zealand.

Cook Islands prepare for Hillary Clinton visit

By Nick Perry

US Secretary of State HIllary Rodham Clinton will be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga at the end of the month. Photo / AP

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga at the end of the month. Photo / AP

The tiny Cook Islands are proving almost too small for Hillary Clinton.

The South Pacific island chain, home to just 10,000 people, is buzzing as it prepares for the expected visit of the US secretary of state, the biggest dignitary to stop by since Queen Elizabeth II nearly four decades ago. Hosting such a high-profile guest and her entourage, however, is posing problems for a government that owns just three small SUVs and is scrambling to borrow cars from residents to create a proper motorcade.


The US Embassy in Wellington on Friday declined to confirm whether Clinton would be part of its delegation, but Cook Island officials are preparing as if she is coming.

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If she is attending, it would be a nice birthday present for her hubby to be able to accompany her.  They have been apart for many weeks recently – actually for a month.  We all love to see them together!



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Remarks With the Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 24, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure once again to welcome New Zealand’s foreign minister, someone who I have had the great delight of working with now over the course of several years, and I also am pleased that our two ambassadors are here – Ambassador Mike Moore and our own Ambassador to Wellington, David Huebner. I think it’s indicative of the long friendship that stretches back nearly 175 years.

And with the constantly growing economic and strategic importance of the Asia Pacific, it is even more pressing that we strengthen those historic ties and deepen our cooperation to meet the challenges of the future. The Wellington Declaration, which we signed during my visit to New Zealand, ensures that our governments are in regular contact on a wide range of shared concerns, and we addressed a number of those today.

Before I begin to talk about our bilateral meeting, I’d like to say a few words about the Baghdad round of E3+3 talks which have just concluded. We set forth a detailed proposal focused on all aspects of 20 percent enrichment based on concrete step-by-step reciprocal measures. We had intensive discussions with the Iranians on our proposal. They put forth their own ideas. As Lady Ashton said, significant differences remain. We will seek to address those differences at a further round of talks which will take place in Moscow on June 18th and 19th.

As we lay the groundwork for these talks, we will keep up the pressure as part of our dual-track approach. All of our sanctions will remain in place and continue to move forward during this period. Iran now has the choice to make – will it meet its international obligations and give the world confidence about its intentions or not?

I’d also like to mention Egypt’s historic first round of presidential elections, which is just wrapping up as we speak. This is obviously an important milestone in Egypt’s transition to democratic government. And the world is watching as the Egyptian people embark on their journey toward a freer, more democratic future debating and deciding among themselves about the best way to take these first steps. And we will continue to support them.

Lastly, on the conviction of Dr. Shakil Afridi in Pakistan, as I’ve said before, the United States does not believe there is any basis for holding Dr. Afridi. We regret both the fact that he was convicted and the severity of his sentence. His help, after all, was instrumental in taking down one of the world’s most notorious murderers. That was clearly in Pakistan’s interests as well as ours and the rest of the world. This action by Dr. Afridi to help bring about the end of the reign of terror designed and executed by bin Ladin was not in any way a betrayal of Pakistan. And we have made that very well known and we will continue to press it with the Government of Pakistan.

Now the foreign minister and I covered a great deal about our bilateral relationship as well as regional and global issues. I want to thank the foreign minister and the Government of New Zealand for the excellent role they played and the contributions they made to the success of the NATO Summit over the weekend in Chicago. We saluted New Zealand’s leadership in Bamyan Province and the orderly plans it has set in place for an effective transition to Afghan leadership. New Zealand’s commitment to this critical effort has been exemplary, and we are enormously grateful for the service and sacrifice of the people of your country.

Next, on Burma, as you know, the United States is in the process of easing certain restrictions and sanctions on that country. And we believe and have encouraged our New Zealand friends as well to work with the international community to move forward the reforms, both political and economic, as well as taking actions to improve human rights, speed democratization, and foster national reconciliation.

I also expressed our appreciation to New Zealand for their strong support of the people of Syria, and by the actions that they have taken to help support Kofi Annan’s mission. By supplying personnel, New Zealand has helped the UN’s supervision mission ramp up operations quickly, and we also are grateful for New Zealand’s generous support for the UN refugee program for Syrians fleeing into Turkey. Together, we must increase our pressure on the Assad regime, and we must continue to work toward the day when there will be a political transition that will give the Syrian people the chance to chart their own future.

And finally, I thanked the foreign minister for New Zealand’s leadership as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum this year. New Zealand’s efforts have brought a needed focus on development coordination and curbing climate change. The United States will continue to work with the Pacific Island nations, especially when it comes to responding to disasters, as we saw with flooding and landslides in Papua New Guinea and Fiji earlier this year.

So once again, Murray, it’s always a pleasure for me to have a chance to sit down across the table from you, and to continue this important dialogue between our countries.

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Thank you, Hillary. Ladies and gentlemen, today we’ve had the opportunity for excellent talks, and I thank the Secretary of State for her time and for those excellent discussions. They’re part of a pattern of regular engagement that we now have following the signing of the Wellington Declaration about 18 months ago.

Reflecting on the relationship and its development, I was very pleased to be able to tell Secretary Clinton that we are in two weeks time going to receive a delegation of Marines, 50 in number, plus a 50-person Marine band that will be involved in a series of events in New Zealand over about three weeks to commemorate the landing in New Zealand 70 years ago of U.S. forces which provided security and protection for the New Zealand people at a time when we were not in a position to afford that security and protection to ourselves. So this will be a chance for that deed of honor to be recognized. Also there’ll be a chance for New Zealanders to see the Marines exercising with some of our own people, and so this is going to be a symbolic time looking backwards but also looking at the contemporary relationship. Those exercises are part of a pattern of regular exercises that now take place between military personnel from both of our countries. We now have a process of cooperation and exercising that is normal and which we strongly welcome.

The talks we’ve had today have been an opportunity to update ourselves on a range of areas, as Secretary Clinton has said: Afghanistan, where we’ve both just come back from the meeting in Chicago; the Asia Pacific region, where New Zealand strongly welcomes the rebalancing of U.S. resourcing which has seen the Asia Pacific region become a stronger area for focus on your part. We welcome in particular the engagement with the East Asia Summit and the suite of meetings that give us both a chance to work cooperatively promoting the joint interest in security and stability in the region.

We had a chance to review developments in the Middle East briefly, Syria, and of course, as Secretary Clinton has mentioned, Burma. I’ve had the opportunity to visit quite recently, and we’re looking to reinforce the work that is being done under U.S. leadership and some of the work that has been done by the EU in Burma to promote improvements in that country.

Turning briefly to the Pacific, I updated Secretary Clinton on the work we’re leading as forum chair. Our hopes for continuing improvement in the situation in Fiji as we move closer to elections that have been scheduled for 2014. We discussed briefly the challenging situation that’s emerged in Papua New Guinea in recent months. We in New Zealand and Australia are closely engaged, and I thank Secretary Clinton in particular for the USAID engagement in the region, where we now have a USAID office in Port Moresby and our first joint project on Tarawa is underway.

So while we’ve still got plenty of work ahead of us, it’s probably appropriate for me to look back over the last three years or so in this relationship as a time of quite remarkable progress. And I want to acknowledge the positive and effective leadership that Secretary Clinton has brought to that process, and I also want to acknowledge the deep goodwill and friendship that she has brought to New Zealand as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, my friend.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible) today. We will start with Reuters, Arshad Mohammed.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, on the Baghdad talks, it’s hardly surprising that differences would remain after only two rounds. Would you say that you made any substantive progress whatsoever in today’s talks?

And on the case of Dr. Afridi, beyond expressing regret and restating your view that there was no basis for his incarceration and sentencing, are you actively seeking to negotiate some kind of a solution that might reduce his sentence or free him inside Pakistan or get him out of the country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, on the first question regarding the talks in Baghdad, as you know, the talks just concluded and I haven’t had time to get a full debrief from our team yet. But I will say that they were serious. They were an opportunity for the E3+3 to engage on substantive matters with the Iranians. But there are clearly gaps in what each side sees as possible, and we think that the choice is now Iran’s to work to close the gaps. We anticipate there will be ongoing work between now and the next meeting in Moscow. But it’s very clear that there’s a lot of work still to do. Yet at the same time, I have to say this is the second of two serious meetings after a gap of at least 15 months where there was no contact and no discussion about any of these matters. So we will continue to engage seriously with our partners.

And the final point I would make is that the entire E3+3 group is united. And I think if you had asked three and a half years ago, certainly when I started this job, could we have unity around some very difficult issues with Iran and have everybody onboard speaking literally off the same page with the same voice, there would have been a certain level of skepticism. So I will leave it at that. But Cathy Ashton summarized for the press where she saw matters, and we will be consulting deeply with my own team and then with the other countries involved.

With respect to Dr. Afridi, we are in the midst of a series of discussions with the Pakistani Government on a range of issues that are important to the United States and the international community. We certainly consider the treatment of Dr. Afridi to be among those important issues. We are raising it and we will continue to do so because we think that his treatment is unjust and unwarranted.

MS. NULAND: Last question from Daniel Ranchez* (inaudible).

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for taking the question. I’d like to ask the foreign minister first if he made a pitch for membership of the UN Security Council – a seat on it. And if he did, what are the main points? And Secretary Clinton, will you endorse New Zealand having a seat on the Security Council? (Laughter.)

FOREIGN MINISTER MCCULLY: Can I answer, I think for the Secretary as well, by saying that New Zealand well understands that, as a permanent member of the Security Council, the United States doesn’t make commitments on those matters in advance, and we deeply respect that. But I did take the opportunity of burnishing New Zealand’s credentials briefly – (laughter) – in the course of our discussion.

As part of our ongoing campaign, we are engaged in a touch fight to become a member of the Security Council in 2015 and 16. We think it is very important that smaller countries are able to achieve the opportunity to be represented on the council, and we’re very proud of the way in which we’ve conducted ourselves as a member of the Security Council in the past – probably about 20 years ago – and most recently when we’ve, I believe, dealt with difficult issues well. And I hope that our credentials there will stand any scrutiny.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add that we certainly welcome New Zealand’s candidacy for a nonpermanent seat and are quite admiring of the campaign that is being run. (Laughter.) Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Thank you very much.

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