Australian nuclear subs will be banned from New Zealand waters: Jacinda Ardern
- Jacinda Ardern said her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison had briefed her on Canberra's plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the United States and Britain.
New Zealand will not lift a decades-long ban on nuclear-powered vessels entering its waters in the wake of key ally Australia's decision to develop a nuclear submarine fleet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday.
Ardern said her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison had briefed her on Canberra's plan to develop nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the United States and Britain.
She described the deal as "primarily around technology and defence hardware", playing down implications for the so-called "Five Eyes" partnership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
"This arrangement in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries, as well as Canada," the New Zealand leader said in a statement.
But she also said New Zealand would maintain a ban on nuclear-powered vessels that dates back to 1985, meaning Wellington will not allow the prized naval asset being developed by Australia into its waters.
"New Zealand's position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged," Ardern said.
The ban was introduced in the wake of French nuclear testing in the Pacific and led to the US navy banning its warships from entering New Zealand ports for more than 30 years.
The destroyer USS Sampson visited in late 2016 but only after the then-prime minister John Key gave a special exemption, saying he was "100 percent confident" the vessel was not nuclear powered or carrying nuclear weapons.
Official US policy is to neither confirm nor deny whether its vessels are nuclear-capable.
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In separate amendments to the National Defence Authorization Act, three US Congressmen have proposed that the US deepen defence ties with India, waive off sanctions that may be triggered by India's acquisitions of Russian weapons under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), enhance the energy partnership with India, and work to reduce Indian dependence on Russian military equipment and energy sources and replace it with the US sources.
British prime minister Boris Johnson - holding on to power precariously after multiple members oJohnson'sis cabinet resigned over the past few days - has become the subject of memes among the online community. A slew of these memes have surfaced on Twitter, encapsulating the current political crisis in Britain as Johnson stares at the strong possibility of being removed as Conservative Party leader and PM.
The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank on Thursday announced the opening of its first office outside its Beijing headquarter, in what appears to be an effort to negotiate China's Covid-19-related policies including restrictions on international travel and strict quarantine requirements for returnees. “The AIIB Board of Directors has approved the establishment of an Interim Operational Hub (the Hub), the bank's first overseas office,” the multilateral lender said in a statement on Thursday.