Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown has met the United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in a whistle-stop visit to Washington, DC.

The Prime Minister has been photographed with Sherman on her Twitter account, and a statement from her office issued says the two “discussed deepening the bilateral relationship between the United States and Cook Islands as well as Cook Islands’ role as Pacific Island Forum (PIF) chair”.

“They also exchanged ideas on how the United States and other partners can best engage with the PIF through Partners in the Blue Pacific to advance the Pacific Island Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The Deputy Secretary noted that the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) alliance adheres to the highest nonproliferation standards,” the statement said.

Recently, Prime Minister Brown has voiced his concern to Cook Islands News about the developing AUKUS alliance’s proposal which will allow Australia to acquire up to eight nuclear-powered submarines.

He has been worried that the proposal would go against the Treaty of Rarotonga, signed in 1985, which sought to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear-powered vessels in the South Pacific.

The meeting was also attended by Seabed Minerals Commissioner Alex Herman and Deputy High Commissioner for the Cook Islands High Commission to New Zealand, Piakura Passfield.

Cook Islands News has contacted the Office of the Prime Minister for further comments.