Key heads to Samoa on friendship visit
Tue, 24 Jul 2012 5:15a.m.
Prime Minister John Key will visit Samoa next week to mark 50 years since a Treaty of Friendship was signed between the two countries.
It's also 50 years since Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962 - an occasion which was marked with celebrations in May.
"Samoa is the only country in the world with which New Zealand has a formal Friendship Treaty - it's a mark of our deep ties, shared values and long history of cooperation," Mr Key said.
He will meet with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and members of his cabinet, and discuss regional issues ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum, which will be held in Rarotonga in August.
Mr Key will lead a delegation including Labour leader David Shearer and representatives of other political parties on the two-day visit from July 31 to August 1.
His programme includes a visit to the village of Poutasi, where he will open a new community hall, and a state luncheon at the Robert Louis Stevenson museum, where the Treaty of Friendship was signed, near the capital of Apia.
Mr Key will also launch Friendship Week, which includes a New Zealand film and television festival, a food and beverage mini-expo, cultural events and exhibitions.
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