Arroyo leaves for New Zealand, Australia

May. 26, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leaves on Sunday afternoon for a four-day visit to New Zealand and Australia to further expand trade, increase security cooperation and foster closer cultural relations between the Philippines and those two countries.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye said the President will discuss with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark “a range of issues, including Interfaith Dialogue,” a vital component of the peace process in Mindanao.

In Australia, the President will discuss with Prime Minister John Howard “issues that affect defense cooperation between our countries,” Bunye said in a statement.

President Arroyo will be in New Zealand from May 28 to 30, during which she will also meet with the Filipino community there.

From Auckland, the President will proceed to Canberra for a state visit to Australia until May 31.

Aside from her meeting with top officials of Australia, the President will also be meeting with the Filipino community in that country. (OPS)

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