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19 April 2010
PM visits Turkey for Gallipoli anniversary, Gulf States

Prime Minister John Key will visit Turkey for the 95th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign and then travel to the Gulf States, it was announced today.  

Mr Key departs on Wednesday for Ankara for a bilateral visit and from there will travel to Gallipoli Peninsula for commemorative celebrations on Anzac Day.

He will attend the Dawn Service, the New Zealand National Service and the Australian National Service at Lone Pine.  Veterans' Affairs Minister Judith Collins will also attend. After the visit to Gallipoli he will address a business breakfast in Istanbul.

"The Gallipoli battles saw New Zealand suffer the highest percentage of casualties of any military campaign in the country's history.  The 95th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings is a hugely significant event," says Mr Key.

"Anzac Day is a day to honour all Kiwis, both living and gone, who served in war.  It is humbling to be able to mark their courage and sacrifice in this way.

"We cannot begin to imagine the human suffering, hardships and horrors the Anzacs who fought at Gallipoli endured.  Of 8500 New Zealanders who served there, nearly 5000 were wounded and 2700 lost their lives."

From Turkey Mr Key will travel to the Gulf to undertake a bilateral visit to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates where business and economic links will be the focus.

Mr Key will be accompanied by Trade Minister Tim Groser and a 90-strong business delegation from New Zealand.  It is the largest-ever business delegation from New Zealand to visit the region.

"The focus of the visit to the Gulf States will be on the bilateral relationship, and particularly economic opportunities for New Zealand and the Gulf States," says Mr Key. 

"Last year, bilateral trade between New Zealand and the Gulf Co-operation Council totalled more than NZ$3 billion, making the GCC New Zealand's 6th largest trading partner."  Mr Key arrives back in New Zealand on 4 May.