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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrived at the White House around 10:25 am.
She wore a light beige coat and a lovely patterned summer dress, and sat intently listening to President Biden as he spoke first, commending her leadership, mentioning Christchurch and recounting his recent visit to Uvalde.
The President asked for guidance on issues ranging from climate change to online extremism. President Biden then spoke of his personal connection to the Pacific.
PM Jacinda Ardern spoke next, offering condolences to the Uvalde shooting as well as “anything that we could share that could be of value”, bringing up how NZ was a significant advocate for CPTPP.
She also spoke on the “significant opportunity to build economic resilience” in the Indo Pacific region, and commended President Biden on his leadership globally and on Ukraine, “as we look to make sure that we’ve strengthen the international response towards the threat to our values” She also brought up climate change as “an incredibly difficult issue that will only resolved if we work together.”
President Biden spoke emphatically about the importance of working together, bringing up his recent trip to Korea and Japan and the Quad.
At the end of the pool spray in the Oval Office with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, POTUS responded to a question about whether he would meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on guns by saying, “I will meet with the Congress on guns, I promise you.” He did not respond to a question about when that would happen.
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