Prime Minister Christopher Luxon arrives in Washington, spends time at Capitol Hill

Christopher Luxon has arrived in Washington DC for his first political visit to the United States where he will spend three days meeting with US and European leaders and attend the NATO summit.

The US capital is in high security mode and many of the streets are shut down as motorcades transporting European and Indo-Pacific prime ministers and presidents make their way through the city.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are just some of the many big names in town this week.

A perimeter of concrete and steel fencing has been erected several streets back from the White House, where a dinner for world leaders will be held along with other meetings this week.

On Wednesday morning NZT, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon spent several hours at Capitol Hill making his way around offices meeting with representatives from both the Republicans and the Democrats.

He was welcomed first by Republican representative Michael McCaul and Democrat representative Gregory Meeks, the chairperson and ranking member respectively of the House Foreign Relations committee.

PM Christopher Luxon meets Kurt Campbell.

The New Zealand media delegation was due to be at the Capitol for the meeting to capture photos and some remarks, but with traffic at a standstill across the city it was impossible to make it on time.

The prime minister and his staff are being fast-tracked across town in a motorcade.

Luxon’s second meeting of the day was with the chairperson of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democrat representative Ben Cardin, and ranking member, Republican representative Jim Risch.

Luxon marched into the meeting giving a thumbs-up to the media, saying “it’s going great” in response to a question about how he was finding his first day in Washington.

He also sat down for an extended meeting and lunch with Democrat Senator for Georgia, Jon Ossoff.

Ossoff has served since 2021 and is currently on Senate committees for the judiciary, intelligence, and home security.

Ossoff met with former prime minister Jacinda Ardern in 2022 when she visited Capitol Hill ahead of a White House visit with President Joe Biden.

Ossoff and Ardern spent a lot of time discussing gun law reform as her visit coincided with the Texas elementary school shooting in Uvalde where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

Later on Wednesday morning, Luxon will attend the NATO 75th anniversary commemorative dinner, which could be his first opportunity to meet Biden informally, though no plans have been confirmed.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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