Saturday, November 06, 2010

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...Image via Wikipedia

:wave:A "rockstar" Hillary Clinton is winging her way to Australia now...

She is on her private plane after being farewelled by the US ambassador and former World Trade Organisation head Mike Moore and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker..
The skies opened up just as the US Secretary of State arrived at the steps of the US Air Force Boeing.
While she was protected by umbrellas, her farewell party wasn't, so there was no lingering
From the dry of the Antarctic Programme hangar, Moore said her visit to New Zealand had been a "triumph," particularly the Town Hall event yesterday where she answered any question put to her from an audience of 300
"New Zealand is highly admired by Americans who are intrigued by what you have built here, who are trying to understand rugby and the great attraction it holds, and who are very committed to learning more about New Zealand," she said.
"She's a rock star," said Moore. "Her presentation was superb in the Town Hall, wasn't it. This is the value of people who come from a democratic society where they have had to spend life convincing someone on the other side to agree with them

"Can you imagine foreign secretaries from some countries being able to pull that off?"

Moore said the Wellington Declaration - described as a strategic partnership - was an important document.
"Words mean something and the Wellington accord, these words are important. This allows us to rewrite the agenda in Washington."

But he also described some of the dramatic changes that had already taken place in the relationship.
"It is only a few ambassadors ago that an ambassador would go to the State Department, meet a person like [an assistant secretary of state] Kurt Campbell, say hello, and then a couple of years later go and say goodbye. Now we meet every two weeks."

Mrs Clinton has forged stronger ties between the two countries and signalled her government's willingness to raise the level of the relationship even further.

She Clinton had arrived in Wellington on Wednesday, going into talks with Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully before signing the Wellington Declaration.

It sets out a strategic partnership ensuring political and military co-operation, with regular high-level meetings that will be used to workout the next practical steps in areas ranging from joint training to climate change.
"I think we've always had a very close relationship on so many issues and it was important for me to demonstrate that very vividly," she said in a TVNZ interview
"We work together on everything from climate change to (nuclear) non-proliferation, our soldiers are working together in Afghanistan...but I think there was a lingering impression the last 25 years had served as an obstacle to our close partnership."

Both governments have said the relationship is better now than at any time since the Anzus rift caused by the introduction of New Zealand's nuclear-free legislation
Mr McCully has described the Wellington Declaration as "highly symbolic...the turning of a new page in the relationship."

Mrs Clinton is on a two-week Asia Pacific trip and today heads for Australia.

Acknowledgements: NZPA
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