The United States has officially confirmed that the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will travel to the Cook Islands this week.
Mrs Clinton will attend the Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit being held in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.
Megan Whelan reports from Rarotonga.
"The secretary of state will arrive in the Cook Islands on Friday night [NZ time] to attend the post-forum dialogue with leaders. She will meet with all of the Pacific leaders for a breakfast meeting on Saturday. In a statement, the department of state says the visit is part of the United States intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with the Pacific Islands. In the increasing battle for influence in the Pacific, Mrs Clinton will lead the highest-level U.S. delegation in the 41-year history of the Forum with senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, and Interior."