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26 Apr 2018 15:33
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  •   Home > News > Politics

    NZ wins French support for EU negotiations

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won support from French President Emmanuel Macron to begin free trade negotiations with the European Union.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won support from France to begin free trade negotiations with the European Union.

    Ms Ardern met French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysees Palace on the first day of her European tour with the pair committing to enhancing bilateral trade and inking socially responsible trade deals.

    Ms Ardern said she sought France's backing because there had been roadblocks to negotiations for a deal in the past.

    "It represents $15 billion worth of trade so it's hugely significant to us," she said.

    "We anticipated that given the vote was coming soon, that we needed to build support for that mandate as broadly as possible."

    The meeting comes about one month before EU nations decide whether to start negotiations for a deal with New Zealand or not.

    Ms Ardern also talked to Mr Macron about climate change and its challenges in the Pacific, saying the two countries were "closely aligned on many global issues".

    "We are both committed to driving global action on climate change. We're both committed to the security and prosperity of the Pacific region," she said.

    Ms Ardern later gave a talk about New Zealand's vision for tackling climate change at the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies.

    She is due to visit Germany on Tuesday to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, before travelling to London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting from Wednesday.


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