TODAY |

Jacinda Ardern congratulates US President-elect Joe Biden, invites him to NZ

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken to US President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on behalf of New Zealand.

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The Prime Minister offered to share insights from New Zealand’s battle with Covid-19 with the President-elect. Source: 1 NEWS

She invited him to New Zealand and offered Covid-19 expertise, if requested. 

Ardern said the phone call was "positive and warm". 

"Much of the call focused on the desire of our two countries to work cooperate on issues of mutual interest."

She said Biden spoke positively around New Zealand's response to Covid-19, and that responding to the virus was his "number one priority". 

"I do absolutely believe international cooperation continues to be key to get the virus under control," Ardern said. 

She said they also spoke about emissions within the US, his 2050 goal and the Pacific region. 

Biden also wanted to "reinvigorate" the relationship between the US and New Zealand. 

"I detected a huge amount of enthusiasm for the relationship we already have", with the potential for it to grow, she said.

Ardern extended an invitation for Biden to visit New Zealand. 

"It was very warmly received. He spoke of his fond memories of his [2016] visit," Ardern said.

On if she was invited to the White House, Ardern said it was up to the White House, but added she would "probably be quite caveat about" revealing that publicly. 

In a statement from Biden released by US political journalists, it says he congratulated Ardern on her re-election and that he intended to strengthen ties with New Zealand. 

He looked forward to working with Ardern on Covid, multilateralism, "strengthening democracy and maintaining a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region". 

"The President-elect also praised the Prime Minister's extraordinary leadership after the 2019 Christchurch massacre, on Covid-19 and as a working mother and role model."

Earlier, Ardern wrote on Instagram: "We talked about climate change, Covid-19, trade and our region (which he remembers fondly from his visit a few years ago)."

"A real pleasure to speak to US President-elect, Joe Biden this afternoon and congratulate him on behalf of New Zealand."

"Looking forward to speaking again!"

Biden last visited New Zealand in 2016, as US Vice President, where he and then-Prime Minister Sir John Key spoke about international peace, the threat of ISIS, issues around the South China Sea and trade. 

"I’m not going home," Biden joked after the meeting. "What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful country."

Earlier this month, Ardern posted a congratulatory message on social media to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

"With so many issues facing the international community, your message of unity is one we share," she wrote at the time.

"New Zealand looks forward to working with you both!"