UK PM praises Kiwis 'grit and determination'
Last updated 07:58 27/04/2011
The people of New Zealand have shown ''great grit and determination'' in the wake of the earthquakes, British Prime Minister David Cameron told Prime Minister John Key as he welcomed him to Downing Street.
The pair are holding talks over dinner at No. 10, the British Prime Minister's residence.
Over poached Scottish salmon, roast English lamb with rosemary sauce, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and passionfruit souffle, they will talk about Libya, Afghanistan and the economy in both nations.
A New Zealand Dry River pinot noir 2004 was on the menu.
Cameron greeted Key on the steps of No. 10, in front of the famous black door, for a "grip and grin" photo opportunity.
Inside they exchanged a few words in the White Room, where Cameron has received other world leaders such as US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
They then moved into the adjoining dining room, where a table was set for both Prime Ministers and their chiefs of staff, Ed Llewellyn and Wayne Eagleson, with placecards handwritten in ornate script.
Cameron said it was ''very good to welcome'' Key.
''As well as being a great Prime Minister and showing strong leadership of your country he's also a great friend to me.
''Obviously it's the first time we've seen each other face to face since the Christchurch earthquake. Everyone in Britain is with the people of New Zealand. Not only feeling those condolences but also huge admiration for the grit and determination the people have shown in putting that great city back together and putting people's lives back together.''
Cameron said they ''had a lot to discuss.''
''We're obviously going to talk about the situation in Libya where we've got to turn up the pressure on Colonel Gaddafi militarily, diplomatically, politically. But also I think we should discuss the situation in Afghanistan where New Zealand troops are serving so bravely.
''And I'm sure there's many other issues, economical and political we will want to discuss. And maybe a word or two about that event on Friday that I know John is looking forward to as much as I am.''
Key thanked Cameron for ''taking the time'' to see him. ''I know it's a very busy time for you.''
He thanked the British people for their support for Christchurch. ''Your search and rescue people were absolutely outstanding and you sent a large contingent and helped us.''
He also wanted to ''formally congratulate'' him on becoming Prime Minister.
''I don't think we've actually seen each other face to face since.''
- The Dominion Post