2 Aug 2012

Cooks canvassed ahead of possible Clinton visit

3:11 pm on 2 August 2012

The Cook Islands government has confirmed a United States security team has conducted an assessment amid speculation that the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, could attend this month's Pacific Islands Forum summit.

The prime minister's office would not confirm that Mrs Clinton will make an appearance, but does say an advance team is scoping out Rarotonga for security threats.

The prime minister's office chief executive Edwin Pittman says they cannot confirm the visit because the US embassy is yet to confirm it.

Last week, the Cook Islands prime minister, Henry Puna, flew to New Zealand to discuss the possible visit with the New Zealand foreign minister, Murray McCully.

There is a suggestion that she may attend the Post-Forum dialogue as a sign of increasing US interest in the Pacific.

If she does it is expected extra foreign media will go to the Cook Islands.