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US, New Zealand Sign Pact Ending 25-Year Rift


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony after arriving at the Parliament Complex, Wellington, New Zealand, 04 Nov. 2010.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony after arriving at the Parliament Complex, Wellington, New Zealand, 04 Nov. 2010.

The United States and New Zealand have ended a 25-year rift with the signing Thursday of a broad pact calling for agreement on issues ranging from counter-terrorism to climate change.

The United States was represented at the signing by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is on a two-week Asia-Pacific tour to showcase America's renewed commitment to the region.

The agreement, called the "Wellington Declaration," establishes a "strategic partnership" that also provides for cooperation on natural disasters, nuclear non-proliferation and trans-national crime. Clinton said the countries also want to enhance their military cooperation.

The agreement effectively ends an estrangement that began in 1985 when New Zealand declared itself a nuclear-free state and banned visits by U.S. warships.

The United States, which refuses to say whether its ships are carrying nuclear weapons, responded by dissolving a three-way security alliance that also included Australia.

Clinton departs New Zealand on Saturday for Australia, the last stop on her seven-nation tour of Asia.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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