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Thursday, January 14

Secretary Clinton postpones visit to NZ

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has postponed her visit to New Zealand in the wake of the massive earthquake in Haiti, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.

"Secretary Clinton rang me this morning to convey the news. She promised to reschedule the visit as soon as possible," Mr McCully said.

"Mrs Clinton told me that given the unimaginable scale of tragedy, and the fact that there are no operating institutions left in Haiti, the importance of US leadership in the relief efforts required her to return home immediately.

"The decision to postpone the visit is entirely understandable, given the massive damage and loss of life in Haiti, and the fact that there are a very large number of Americans based there.

"I told Secretary Clinton that New Zealand had specialist skills in a number of emergency relief and recovery areas, and we would be happy to supplement US efforts in any way required. She thanked me for the offer and said she would come back to me with any requests," Mr McCully said.