July 16, 2021

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discussed efforts to ensure vaccine availability in New Zealand and the Pacific region in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday, the government said in a statement.

The call comes ahead of the APEC Informal Leaders’ Retreat on COVID-19 to be held on Friday.

“President Biden and I discussed the forthcoming APEC leaders meeting and the critical importance of working together as a region to navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Ardern said in a statement released to the media.

“We also discussed the vaccine roll-out, both domestically and in the Pacific region and both our countries’ efforts to ensure vaccine availability,” she said.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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