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U.S., New Zealand Move to Enhance Strategic Partnership

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012

Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta paid the first visit by a U.S. defense secretary to New Zealand in 30 years. Panetta’s trip is just the latest in a string of bilateral moves between Wellington and Washington over the past few years to ease old restrictions and find new ways to work together in the Asia-Pacific region, all in an effort to translate their elevated “strategic partnership” into enhanced cooperation.

Formal defense ties between New Zealand and the United States began in 1951, when along with Australia they formed the ANZUS military alliance. But the relationship fractured in 1987, when New Zealand passed a law banning nuclear-armed and nuclear-powered ships from New Zealand ports, after which Washington suspended its alliance commitments to Wellington. ...

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