“We fully understand that New Zealand is not looking to go backward to re-create a relationship of the past,” he said, “but to re-create a strong, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional relationship for the 21st century.
“This is pretty much the model of how we want to do business. I think we have about as close a relationship as two countries can have now.”
And he credited the personal regard President Barack Obama had for Prime Minister John Key for the improvement.
“I see President Obama regularly in meetings and I see the leaders that he is attracted to and he has to deal with a huge number of people.
“The truth is there are three or four leaders in Asia that he [strongly] respects and kind of listens to when they talk.
“It’s Prime Minister Lee in Singapore, it’s Prime Minister Najib in Malaysia, SBY (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono) in Indonesia, Lee Myung-bak in South Korea but Prime Minister Key is in that list.”
A long way removed from when the previous Prime Minister had to do a written apology to the US President for her comments!Tags: Barack Obama, John Key