WikiLeaks cable: What nuclear issue?

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

July 19, 2004
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND: WHAT NUCLEAR ISSUE? PM CLARK PUBLICLY CITES MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT AND MIL-MIL INTERACTION AS SIGN NUKE ISSUE IS FADING

This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION, DAVID R. BURNETT,

FOR REASONS 1.5(B,D)


1. (SBU) In comments about the US-New Zealand relationship, NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark told Australia's ABC radio July 8 "I must say that I personally have met George Bush a number of times and consider the personal relationship between us to be very good." Making a direct link between those meetings and NZ's anti-nuclear stance, PM Clark added that she was "optimistic that over time what happened over 20 years ago will be of less and less relevance to these relationships."

Clark went on to say that the world had moved on from the ANZUS agreement of 1951, and signaled her belief that NZ would not gain from reinstating the Alliance, which the US suspended in 1987 in response to the GoNZ's anti-nuclear legislation. Blaming the USG for having made NZ's anti-nuclear legislation "a problem" between the two nations and noting that NZ was "absolutely entitled" to make its nuclear-free stand, Clark went on to state that overall, NZ's nuclear stance did not impinge upon "practical" mil-mil interaction between the US and New Zealand, citing GoNZ participation in Operation Enduring Freedom as an example.

She did concede, however, that her government's anti-nuclear legislation caused "a generic problem when it comes to (military) training."

2. (C) Comment: PM Clark's statements are about as close and as blunt as she's ever come to confessing something this post has long observed - that the GoNZ has convinced itself that naturally friendly but incidental meetings between POTUS and Clark, together with the inevitably increased mil-mil operations tempo due to NZ's OEF and Iraq contributions, is proof that GoNZ policies are wearing down USG resolve on the nuclear issue. We further note that PM Clark is apparently much more willing to highlight her excellent relations with President Bush when speaking to an Australian audience than to domestic Kiwi audiences.

Swindells

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