On 27 October 2011 European Union High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced the intention to negotiate a framework agreement (a preliminary trade agreement that sets out the terms that will govern contracts during a given period). McCully commented, ‘The European Union is a partner of first-order importance for New Zealand. A politically focused framework agreement would help to build up our cooperation on political, global and sectoral issues, bringing us closer together.’
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