Key and Obama talk about Dotcom
Prime Minister John Key had a private one-on-one chat with US President Barack Obama today - about internet millionaire Kim Dotcom.
Key refused to say who said what - and only reluctantly hinted Dotcom was discussed.
The German mogul is fighting extradition to the US on anti-piracy charges, and has alleged undue political influence in the case.
Key and Obama had a 'pull aside' - diplomatic speak for a informal confidential conflab - ahead of talks on the Trans Pacific Trade pact in Phnom Penh. The fiscal cliff and the US economic woes didn't come up.
No officials were present and Key would only say Dotcom and the Israel-Palestine conflict was raised by him.
''I'm not going to go into those details,'' Key said. "I had a little chat to him, yep, about a whole range of issues. I have private conversations with people all the time.''
Dotcom wasn't raised at the meeting of the six TPP member states attending the East Asia Summit today.
Following reports of the meeting, Kim Dotcom on Twitter told Key to ask Obama "to give us green cards so we can come and help Hollywood to build a proper Internet business".
In the trade talks, Obama and Key agreed that the New Zealand premier would follow Obama's opening remarks, pushing for the pact to be completed as soon as possible.
"The President leaned over and said, John do you want to make an intervention, and it went from there....it's important that we spelt out what the significance of this deal is.''
The geo-political struggle between US and China has dominated the international forums playing out in Cambodia this week
China has become more assertive as the US 'pivots' towards Asia. Key insists New Zealand isn't taking sides - although it is clear he favours the TPP over an east Asian deal being launched today.
New Zealand wants a "negotiated solution" over the simmering South China Seas territorial disputes between China and a number of Asian neighbours, including US allies the Philippines and Vietnam.
"New Zealand is an independent country with an independent foreign policy so it takes its own stance...if you take something like the South China Seas, that's why we don't pick sides...
"A lot is made of the China-US stand-off. I'm not sure you'd want to over-emphasise that. There are obviously disagreements in certain areas, but overall there is a lot agreement that both of these are very significant countries that can help deliver economic growth and if they don't work constructively together it's not good for economic growth.''