The bright colors and bold pageantry of national traditions always add warmth to the welcoming ceremonies of official visits. In her travels through the Asia Pacific region, Secretary Clinton has been greeted by the proud cultural traditions and heritage of the hosting nations.
Today's Photo of the Week comes from the U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, and shows Secretary Clinton's encounter with a Powhiri, a Maori welcoming ceremony, on the Parliament forecourt in Wellington, on November 4, 2010. In her remarks later, at a reception hosted by New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray Stuart McCully, Secretary Clinton joked about the ferocity of the display, which includes a cermonial aggressive challenge to the visitor by Maori warriors. "...I am honored to participate in a Powhiri this afternoon," Secretary Clinton said, "I've never seen anything quite like it and I am delighted to have survived it."
While in Wellington, Secretary Clinton signed the Wellington Declaration, reaffirming the close ties between the two nations and establishing the framework of a new United States-New Zealand strategic partnership to shape future practical cooperation and political dialogue. Her travels continue on November 6, when she visits Australia, joined by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to discuss regional and global security issues with Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith, and will also meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.