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New Zealand Prime Minister to visit United Kingdom, France

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (Getty Images)

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August 30, 2010

(KATAKAMI / SCOOP.CO.NZ) — Prime Minister John Key will travel to the United Kingdom and France next week for bilateral talks with leaders and senior Government representatives, and to attend the unveiling of a memorial for World War II hero Sir Keith Park.

At the invitation of The Queen, Mr Key and his wife Bronagh will also make a private visit to join Her Majesty at the royal residence of Balmoral in Scotland.

Mr Key leaves New Zealand on September 10 for London where he will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron and undertake a number of engagements with an economic and business focus.

“This will be an opportunity to establish close links with the new British coalition government and to build on the solid ties we already share with the United Kingdom,” Mr Key says.

“I look forward to seeing Mr Cameron for the first time since he was elected Prime Minister and to meeting other senior members of the Government, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.”

“The unveiling of a statue in memory of Sir Keith Park in London will be a proud moment for New Zealand.”

Mr Key will be visiting France for the first time as Prime Minister. He will meet President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon in Paris for formal talks.

“New Zealand has a wide-ranging relationship with France which spans across a number of areas,” Mr Key says.

“I look forward to discussing with Mr Sarkozy our cooperation in the Pacific and in Europe.”

During his time in France Mr Key will visit Longueval on the Somme, where he will lay wreaths at the New Zealand and French memorials to the fallen in World War One.

In Paris, Mr Key will also hold discussions at the OECD before departing for New Zealand. He is scheduled to arrive back in New Zealand on September 19.

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