British PM to visit New Zealand

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British Prime Minister David Cameron will visit New Zealand next week ahead of a Commonwealth leaders' meeting in Australia, his New Zealand counterpart John Key said Friday.

Key said he would host Cameron at a formal bilateral meeting in New Zealand, a former British colony, and join him on a short visit to Christchurch, where 181 people died in a devastating earthquake last February.

He said he would discuss a wide range of issues with the British leader, including the economic situation in Europe.

The New Zealand prime minister described his country's relationship with Britain as "one of our oldest and closest".

"We have strong ties between our people and businesses, and a shared outlook on international affairs," Key said in a statement.

Key did not reveal the exact dates of Cameron's visit, although local media reports said he would arrive on Wednesday and depart the next day for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth.

© 2011 AFP

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