Washington, DC

New Zealand Prime Minister to Make Rare White House Visit Tuesday

Kelly E.

Jacinda Ardern to visit White House.Image Creative Commons via Wikimedia

New Zealand's leader, Jacinda Ardern, is in the U.S. and will be meeting with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Ardern was invited to speak at a function for Harvard University students last Thursday and announced her visit to the White House in Washington DC.

A rare meeting

A formal invitation to the White House is not a common event.

This will be only the third invitation received by a New Zealand Prime Minister in the past 20 years from a U.S. President.

"Make no mistake, this is a big deal and a continuation of the positive trend in our relationship," said NZUS Council Executive Director Jordan Small in a statement.

Ardern said it's likely the three leaders will discuss the war in Ukraine, trade and the role of the U.S. in NZ’s economy, and possibly the baby formula shortage, which the U.S. is currently experiencing.

Ardern told media the visit to the White House was very important.

We’re in a “fraught time of global politics” where we have a pandemic, a climate crisis, and conflict – so it’s important to engage with like-minded partners like the U.S., she said.

Ardern is also hoping to discuss the U.S. joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Who is this New Zealand leader?

Jacinda Ardern is the third female leader of New Zealand and is in her second term as Prime Minister.

In 2017, when she was voted in at age 37, she became the world's youngest female head of government.

On Thursday, Ardern received an honorary degree from Harvard University.

She has also studied in the U.S., taking a semester at Arizona State University in 2001 as part of her Bachelor of Communication Studies (BCS) in politics and public relations.

New Zealand has a population of 5 million and is an isolated country in the Pacific Ocean, more than 1,000 miles southeast of Australia.

New Zealand shown in red, just below Australia.By Bazonka at English Wikipedia.

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