New Zealand and Samoa Strategically Important to US

David Huebner, US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, speaking in Washington, DC on Oct. 20, 2010. (Asia Society Washington Center)

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2010 – "Today, relations with New Zealand are the strongest they have been in many years, and I see them getting even stronger," said David Huebner, US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

At a breakfast meeting organized by Asia Society Washington, Huebner described the long bilateral relationships between the United States and New Zealand through cooperation in science, security, and economic growth.

He explained the three key objectives for the Obama Administration's engagement with New Zealand, which are to promote long-term public diplomacy efforts, broaden New Zealand's cooperation with the United States on regional and global security issues, and reassert US leadership in the area of science and technology.

The Ambassador also emphasized on building and maintaining relationships with students and other future leaders, whom he recognizes as “the real key to success of our long-term relationship."

As for Samoa, Huebner said that the United States recognizes the importance of Samoa and the Pacific Islands, and that it is “in the long-term interest of the United States to demonstrate our commitment and interest in engaging Samoa and the South Pacific in tangible and visible ways."

Huebner said that he is "optimistic about the US relationship with Samoa." He also believes that it is in the interest of the United States to “put more resources into developing this important relationship."

Reported by Yanin Voravisuthikul