US says ‘door is open’ for New Zealand to ‘engage’ in AUKUS security pact


A “door is open” for New Zealand to “engage” in the AUKUS alliance, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and US, said the US secretary of state on Thursday.

Antony Blinken, who arrived in Wellington after a stopover in Tonga where he opened a new US embassy, met with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

“As we further develop AUKUS, the door is open to engagement,” ABC News quoted Blinken as saying.

“As we continue to work on the second pillar, the door is very much open for NZ and other partners to engage as they see appropriate going forward,” he added.

On Sept. 15, 2021, the nations announced the formation of AUKUS, a trilateral security treaty for the Indo-Pacific region. It is primarily intended for China, which is becoming more assertive in the region.__The Nation