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Key to meet US vice president

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, April 12 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key is to make an unscheduled visit to the White House while in Washington attending a nuclear security summit.

The Dominion-Post and New Zealand Herald newspapers today said Mr Key had unexpectedly been slotted in for a meeting with American Vice-President Joe Biden at the White House tonight New Zealand time and had arrived in Washington early to do that.

Mr Key was sounded out about a formal bilateral meeting with Mr Obama on the sidelines of the summit. However officials told the Herald that might weaken the chances for a separate visit by Mr Key to the White House later in the year when New Zealand's messages may get a more receptive hearing.

A separate trip would also give Mr Key a chance to engage personally with some of the senators who have been heavily lobbied by elements of the US dairy industry, and to meet the Trade Representative Ron Kirk.

Mr Key will tomorrow meet Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a few hours after meeting Mr Biden.

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