Australian PM announces apple war ceasefire with NZ
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has vowed to accept the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) ruling to allow New Zealand imports, in a historic speech to the trans-Tasman neighbor's parliament in Wellington, newspaper The Australian reported.
The announcement came as the two countries signed new investment protocols in a bid to boost trade.
"We accept the obligations of free trade, just as we embraced the possibilities of free trade," Gillard was quoted as saying.
"For New Zealand, this agreement provides the most liberalised access to the Australian investment market."
For the first time an overseas leader addressed the Wellington parliament, Gillard highlighted the countries' ties and commented that Australia had 'no closer ally than New Zealand', The Australian reported.
Gillard was reluctant to tell the Wellington press conference whether New Zealand apples would be 'embraced with open arms'.
"I can’t guarantee what conduct will be engaged in by people who grow apples in New Zealand, but what I can say, for the Australian Government, is we will abide by the umpire’s decision at the WTO," she said.
Related stories: Australia's apple growers seek $40M to detect disease