Jacinda Ardern and US President Joe Biden phone to talk before Apec meeting

16 Jul 2021 2:39 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to US President Joe Biden this morning. The call is ahead of a virtual meeting this weekend at the Apec summit, which will be hosted by New Zealand.

Ardern said she "discussed the forthcoming Apec leaders meeting and the critical importance of working together as a region to navigate out of the Covid-19 pandemic".

The pair of leaders also discussed the "stability of the Indo-Pacific region", which was the topic of a speech Ardern gave earlier in the week.

"The United States and New Zealand share many common values and interests, including a commitment to an open and rules-based Indo-Pacific.

"I raised the importance of strengthening the economic architecture in the region post-Covid in order to facilitate greater trade and investment," Ardern said.

Ardern said she also discussed " the vaccine roll-out, both domestically and in the Pacific region and both our countries' efforts to ensure vaccine availability".

This reiterated a point made by Ardern in her speech earlier this week, which touched on concerns that not every country has equitable access to vaccines.

"We will not be safe, 'til we are all safe.

"A singular focus on vaccinating our own populations with little regard to others is a recipe for variants, and for possibly undermining the very vaccines we are working so hard to provide

"That's one of the reasons we are working with our partners to support vaccine roll-outs to our Pacific neighbours, and others," Ardern told an audience at Te Papa in Wellington.

The US announced this week that it will send a shipment of the Moderna vaccine to Fiji which is in the midst of a serious outbreak.

Ardern also thanked Biden for joining the Christchurch Call against online extremist content.

"I thanked the President for the United States joining the Christchurch Call and how their membership has provided momentum to the work to eradicate violent extremist content online," Ardern said.

Source: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/