Mr Key goes to Washington

May 20th, 2014 at 8:22 am by David Farrar

The PM has announced:

Prime Minister has welcomed an invitation to meet the President of the during his upcoming visit to the US.

The White House has announced President Obama will meet the Prime Minister in Washington DC on Friday, 20 June.

“The invitation underlines the very close relationship between the United States and New Zealand,” Mr Key says.

“I look forward to meeting with President Obama.  We are likely to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, to take stock of our bilateral relationship, and to exchange views on current regional and international issues,” he says.

The Prime Minister is travelling to the United States from June 16 to 20.

While in Washington DC, the Prime Minister will also meet with a range of senior administration figures, Congressional representatives and business leaders. 

The Prime Minister will also undertake a full programme in New York in support of New Zealand’s bid to win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2015-16.

This is no surprise, yet still welcome.

A diplomat commented to me a couple of months ago how extraordinary it is that the New Zealand Prime Minister is the national leader that has probably spent the most time in the last 12 months with both the President of the United States, but also the President of China.

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54 Responses to “Mr Key goes to Washington”

  1. kowtow (8,218 comments) says:

    It would be great if we could drop that “close friendship” and return to alliance.

    Feminist Labour’s poisonous legacy.

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  2. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. Rich Prick (1,670 comments) says:

    That’s right, the royals visited and Obama hangs out with Key just to help National out with the election. The left are particularly miserable this morning.

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  4. peterwn (3,239 comments) says:

    … yes – speaks volumes about the guy who threw the muck.

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  5. tom hunter (4,714 comments) says:

    The TPP appears to be stalled due to all the sectional Senate interests and as far as the rest of the relationship is concerned I can’t see much for either party coming out of it. Aside from Five Eyes what does the US get from us? And what can we realistically contribute to regional issues that Australia can’t do better? NZ as an unthreatening middle-man perhaps?

    I suppose it’s always good to keep the relationship going but considering that Obama has been a lame duck for the last two years, and likely to become more so, I can’t see anything productive happening here. From Obama’s perspective it’s probably just a relief to talk with someone who is not demanding anything or expecting anything of him.

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  6. Manolo (13,519 comments) says:

    The delicate Lynn Prentice and The sub-Standard divas will be livid and spitting tacks. Oh dear.
    Just wait for the campaign of vile attacks to start any minute.

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  7. EAD (962 comments) says:

    I know we are talking scale of about 80:1 hear but it’d be interesting to compare NZ to America under these respective leaders:

    – Which government has expanded it’s main welfare programme (Food Stamps/WFF) the most and created the most dependent populace?

    – As a consequence, who has created a bigger debt for future generations to pay off (or more likely default on)?

    – Who has blown the biggest Central bank created bubble with artificially low interest rates below the real cost of capital?

    – Who has sold off the most land to foreign buyers?

    – Which government has stolen the most liberties from it’s citizens?

    – Which country two years henceforth will have the most CCTV cameras and most intrusive privacy laws?

    It’ll be a interesting contest!

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  8. flipper (3,955 comments) says:

    kowtow …..

    Disagree only with your use of the word “Feminist”.

    It was a lesbian driven policy, put in place by Lange, was it not?.

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  9. Elaycee (4,356 comments) says:

    Haha…. Right on cue the left whingers have gone to full throttle.

    Let me guess… TeeVeeOne and TV3 will run a lead story tonight that the PM is off to the USA ‘just before the election’ and there will be a breathless ‘interview’ with the current Labour leader where he bitches and moans that this trip is ‘only a photo opportunity’….

    I can hear the gnashing and wailing now….

    Love it! :lol:

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  10. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (872 comments) says:

    Hello? What is going on here in an election year? Wait for the mentally deranged Labour-Green leaders to raise objections to Mr Key’s invite to White House.

    David Cunliffe – “In an election year, there should be equal coverage. I need an invitation to visit the White House too…”
    Communist Norman – “Gimme a trip, gimme a trip”
    Winston First – “More to come. Key gone by lunch time”
    Horny Hone – “Why there is no invitation for a Maori leader?”
    DotCon – “Thank God, I am not invited to USA”

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  11. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    Actually, Sir Cullen, I think Dotcom was invited but is otherwise engaged. Or should that be dis-engaged?

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  12. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  13. ShawnLH (4,485 comments) says:

    the CommieFlag is sad his terrorist friends are not free to blow up potentially thousands of people.

    Must be hard being a terrorist supporter under a sane government.

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  14. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I think tom has this one sussed. Why meet with people you have issues with (Russian or Chinese leaders) when you can have a cosy chat about golf with the nice unthreatening PM from NZ?

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  15. trout (935 comments) says:

    Just so long as he does not have lunch with his wife’s cousin’s brother on the way to the airport and of course gets receipts from the Obama admin. for including in the pecuniary interests register.

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  16. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    “… his terrorist friends…”

    Who says the New Zealander killed was a terrorist? He was charged with no crime and convicted in no court before being arbitrarily assassinated by a drone strike conducted by a foreign (and supposedly friendly) power. Tell me ShawnLH do you not support the rule of law? Are you in favour of the United States killing any New Zealander it likes overseas without a peep out of our Quisling prime minister?

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  17. Rick Rowling (809 comments) says:

    But there’s a long-standing convention that the Prime Minister doesn’t meet with US Presidents within 6 months of an election.

    ;-)

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  18. Manolo (13,519 comments) says:

    Yes, comrade PeoplesFlag. The defunct bastard was a terrorist and got EXACTLY what he deserved.

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  19. lolitasbrother (639 comments) says:

    good riddance to the weakling New Zealander who joined Islam terror in Somalia, ,good riddance, there is plenty of evidence about this man, a good example of drones doing work against madmen, his parents and relatives hide in shame,

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    How insulting – I would like to think that New Zealander’s take their voting far more seriously than to place their tick according to who had morning tea with Obama or Prince Willy. As any intelligent person would know, or at least should know, those things are part of the job and it wouldn’t matter if Josephine Bloggs was our PM, the invitations would still be forthcoming under the current global conditions.

    It’s hardly like Key got on the phone and said “hey listen Obama me ol’ mate, cud you do us a favour and invite me for a cuppa, I’m needing a few votes – oh yeah, hows the ol’ sheila doing?”

    Anyone that votes or doesn’t vote on the issue of a visit – really doesn’t deserve to have a vote.

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  21. MT_Tinman (3,108 comments) says:

    Manolo (12,788 comments) says:
    May 20th, 2014 at 9:33 am
    Yes, comrade PeoplesFlag. The defunct bastard was a terrorist and got EXACTLY what he deserved.

    So well said it deserves repeating.

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  22. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    “..The defunct bastard was a terrorist…”

    Proof? You don’t have any, do you? Nah. You are just angry old men, members of your own talkback Taliban.

    I am pretty sure you guys would have cheered to the echo news of deaths in the international brigades fighting Franco as well.

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  23. lolitasbrother (639 comments) says:

    Rick Rowling (785 comments) says: May 20th, 2014 at 9:28 am
    ” quote But there’s a long-standing convention that the Prime Minister doesn’t meet with US Presidents within 6 months of an election.” unquote

    Hey Rick wake up its Tuesday morning its May 2014 Rick, Rick? are you there Rick ?

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  24. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    whipdeedo
    Obamas very much disliked in the US, its obvious why as hes just a blowhard politican who likes the sound of his own voice.
    Key likes associating with such cheesy people, after meeting cheesy Key im glad i dont have to be there for drinks and biscuits.
    Just a beltway issue, means nothing for NZers struggling here under rising interest rates

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  25. geoff3012 (68 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (129 comments) says:
    May 20th, 2014 at 9:27 am
    “… his terrorist friends…”

    Who says the New Zealander killed was a terrorist?

    YES! you are correct…he was there for a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down…….

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  26. metcalph (1,427 comments) says:

    Who says the New Zealander killed was a terrorist? He was charged with no crime and convicted in no court before being arbitrarily assassinated by a drone strike conducted by a foreign (and supposedly friendly) power.

    For him to be assassinated, the US would have to be launching a drone strike with the knowledge that he specifically was there. Since by all accounts, he was a mere footsoldier, his death was no assassination (A better word to choose than execution which was all too carelessly bandied about when news of his death broke).

    It is not necessary for a person to be charged and convicted in court to be reasonably killed as a terrorist threat. For example Osama Bin Laden never had a trial before Seal Team Six put a bullet in his brain. In the case of the NZer, he was in a remote location in close proximity with several Al-Qaida fighters and he and others in the area could not be apprehended without the risk of significant loss of life by the Yemenese (or US authorities). Under such circumstances, drone strikes are reasonable and the NZer really only has himself to blame for the dangerous place he put himself in.

    What’s not commonly reported and was news to me until the New York Times reported it earlier this year, in that in the case of signature strikes, steps are taken to reduce civilian causalties. For example when a target has been identified, drones are sent to buzz access roads to scare other people from approaching the place while the strike occurs.

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  27. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    mikenwimp: Your left-wing envy on show again . . . by the way, don’t try and make out you live in Woburn, you are a State house dweller, loser, and not a successful Woburnite.

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  28. thePeoplesFlag (242 comments) says:

    “…YES! you are correct…he was there for a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down…….”

    Look, let’s be real. He was in Yemen to fight for Islamic guerillas against the government forces. There is no evidence that he was a “terrorist” in the sense he was prepared to blow up an airliner or something. All we know is he was fighting in a foreign conflict as an Islamic fighter and was killed by an extra-judicial drone strike by the United States.

    Now, it seems to me that the NZ government owes a duty of care to it’s citizens to publicly protest (no matter how insincerely) at the random killing of it’s citizens and at least publicly demand an explanation and some sort of evidence. Key’s obsequious lap-dog response of behaving like nothing more than a colonial governor of a far flung corner of the American empire falls woefully short of that and is an insult to our sovereignty.

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  29. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Didn’t I already tell you I live in Naenae, igm?

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  30. geoff3012 (68 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (130 comments) says:
    May 20th, 2014 at 10:03 am
    “…YES! you are correct…he was there for a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down…….”

    Look, let’s be real. He was in Yemen to fight for Islamic guerillas against the government forces. There is no evidence that he was a “terrorist” in the sense he was prepared to blow up an airliner or something. All we know is he was fighting in a foreign conflict as an Islamic fighter and was killed by an extra-judicial drone strike by the United States.

    He shoulda taken Wussels fwag and waved that about…..drones would have dodged him…….

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  31. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I’m in two minds about the drone strikes. On the one hand they can be seen as conventional military strikes by the US in a war such as in Yemen and Afghanistan where it is fighting with allies against insurgency. On the other hand, targeted strikes against particular individuals, who may or may not be planning acts of terrorism against the United States, smack of extra-judicial killing.

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  32. metcalph (1,427 comments) says:

    All we know is he was fighting in a foreign conflict as an Islamic fighter and was killed by an extra-judicial drone strike by the United States.

    In which case he is hardly an innocent person, is he?

    Now, it seems to me that the NZ government owes a duty of care to it’s citizens to publicly protest (no matter how insincerely) at the random killing of it’s citizens and at least publicly demand an explanation and some sort of evidence.

    The killing of an Islamic insurgent fighting against a legitimate government of the land is hardly a random killing but a justifiable one. And I have to marvel at your acceptance that the government should behave insincerely in following your ideal course of action.

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  33. metcalph (1,427 comments) says:

    On the other hand, targeted strikes against particular individuals, who may or may not be planning acts of terrorism against the United States, smack of extra-judicial killing.

    It is an extra-judicial killing by definition. But an extra-judicial killing is not in and of itself unlawful or unreasonable.

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  34. tom hunter (4,714 comments) says:

    For example Osama Bin Laden never had a trial before Seal Team Six put a bullet in his brain.

    You’re wasting your time making that argument, thePeoplesFlag probably thinks that was “extra-judicial” also – and a war crime. There was an interesting debate about this whole issue of “extra-judicial” killings by the USA starting here, but it looks like thePeoplesFlag missed it.

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  35. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I tend to agree metcalph. Travelling to a foreign country where to fight with insurgents against a government that is allied to the United States exposes one to certain risks.

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  36. kowtow (8,218 comments) says:

    flipper, are you saying Lange was a lesbian?

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  37. kowtow (8,218 comments) says:

    comrade flag waver.

    Deaths in the International brigades?

    You’d no doubt be cheering on Andre Marty the French Comintern controller of the brigades who ordered some 500 members or nearly 10% of brigade fatalities,to be shot ,on the grounds they were spies!

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  38. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    wow, the lefties are really upset hahaha

    JK should do a stop over in Hawaii, maybe 3 nights at his very expensive, exclusive holiday home. glorious.

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  39. OTGO (539 comments) says:

    Maybe “to take stock of our bilateral relationship” is spy code for “next time we take someone out can I use my controller?”.

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  40. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    Hope Key has time for a game of Golf with Obama and v.v.
    Best diplomacy.

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  41. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Hopefully Obama will inform John Key that changing the law on weed solves a few issues and creates a few but the sky won’t fall.

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  42. metcalph (1,427 comments) says:

    Changing the law on weed is a lot more complicated than simply passing legislation. We are required to ban pot (amongst other drugs) under a signed convention. Passing a law legalizing pot means that we are out of the convention and lose access to international co-operation against other drugs. We can re-sign the treaty with the reservation that we do not consider pot to be a drug requiring prohibition but we can only be readmitted if three quarters of the signatories do not object. Bolivia recently pulled this stunt with the legalization of coca leaf but taking the plunge and crossing one’s fingers is never a wise step.

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  43. Viking2 (11,371 comments) says:

    Judith (6,127 comments) says:
    May 20th, 2014 at 9:39 am

    How insulting – I would like to think that New Zealander’s take their voting far more seriously than to place their tick according to who had morning tea with Obama or the Prince’s Willy.
    ———————-

    Oh dear Judith. Now this may apply to some Pollies from the other side but I’m fairly certain Key is a ladies man.

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  44. Fentex (923 comments) says:

    A few months ago a person purporting to be an expert on military/political affairs (IIRC) suggested NZ must make a choice between a strategic alliance with the U.S.A or China, as our current trade with China but political alignment with the U.S.A was untenable to them – at some point they believe our economics and politics must align.

    Some people fear our economic relationship with China will skew our politics (and you saw some proclaiming Collins apparent corruption as signs of this). While in the debate of the TPP some see reason to fear our political relationship with the U.S.A will tear at our economics.

    I hope the fear we must choose is mistaken, even though history holds many examples of nations being spit on a sword they tried to balance on there are other examples of successfully standing at intersections and mediating.

    I think NZ, especially whoever is our PM, should actively try and maintain this bridge Key has built. It is a good thing. And if we imagine a near future where Key is not PM I would think it likely wise to make him some sort of plenipotentiary to accompany NZ diplomatic missions to help keep this bridge in good repair.

    Least we find it crumbles and we do find ourselves having to choose between jumping from one side or the other.

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  45. OTGO (539 comments) says:

    Fentex so the next PM must be a golfer with a handicap no higher than 15. Anyone know what David Cunliffe’s is? And for the record JK’s is 11.

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  46. dave_c_ (217 comments) says:

    Must be the 3 yearly visit to be instructed in the things that the US want, and how NZ is expected to assist in implementing them.

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  47. stephieboy (2,708 comments) says:

    dave_c_, ,what evidence do you have that this :”instruction” is actually happening.?

    Um …thinking of drone strikes makes me think of Pope Innocent II condemning the cross bow as immoral and the Vi Flying unguided flying bomb as not exactly “cricket”

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  48. ShawnLH (4,485 comments) says:

    “He was in Yemen to fight for Islamic guerillas against the government forces. There is no evidence that he was a “terrorist” in the sense he was prepared to blow up an airliner or something.”

    Those would be the “guerillias” who are in fact al-Qaeda in Yemen, a terrorist organization.

    Being a New Zealand citizen is not a get out of jail free card. He allied himself with a group at war with the entire west, and got what he deserved.

    Only someone made monumentally stupid through blind ideology would think what he did was right.

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  49. dime (9,805 comments) says:

    “Fentex so the next PM must be a golfer with a handicap no higher than 15. Anyone know what David Cunliffe’s is? And for the record JK’s is 11.”

    Cunliffes handicap is his unlikable personality

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  50. dave_c_ (217 comments) says:

    Stephieboy – dont you recognise ‘tongue in cheek’. How many actually know what is actually said during such visits ! I reckon very few, which leaves the door open for such ‘taking the micky’

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  51. Tauhei Notts (1,684 comments) says:

    And when Cunliffe hits off on a par five his tee does not make a sound. It is a silent tee.

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  52. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    People’s Flag at 9.44 posted: “….am pretty sure you guys would have cheered to the echo news of deaths in the international brigades fighting Franco as well.”

    Hey, Peoples Flag! International Brigade??!!

    Exactly how old are you anyway?

    The International Brigade – mainly comprising away-with-the-fairies misguided political idealists – was pre-WW2!!

    And they lost!

    (Pity no-one will read this now)

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  53. SPC (5,563 comments) says:

    Is he running his horse in the Belmont Stakes?

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  54. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    I watched Campbell live, seems pretty clear why that little excited boy is getting invited to Washington doesnt it.
    What a sell out of our country for himself he is.

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