Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on early Thursday while welcoming the announcement of trilateral security partnership between Australia, UK and US – AUKUS said that Australian nuclear submarines will be banned from New Zealand waters. However, Ardern has also stated that Australian nuclear submarines will be banned from New Zealand waters.
Ardern’s statement comes in view of the country’s ‘New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone’ foreign policy. “New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,” Ardern said in a statement, reported Newshub. Ardern welcomed the “increased engagement of the UK and the US” in the Pacific region as the countries announced the new security pact with Australia. The new trilateral security partnership was announced in a virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to deepen diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The New Zealand Prime Minister remarked that AUKUS ‘in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries, as well as Canada’. She asserted that New Zealand is a nation of the Pacific and views foreign policy developments through the lens of what is best for the region.
“New Zealand is first and foremost a nation of the Pacific and we view foreign policy developments through the lens of what is in the best interest of the region,” Ardern said. “We welcome the increased engagement of the UK and US in the region and reiterate our collective objective needs to be the delivery of peace and stability and the preservation of the international rules-based system,” added Ardern.