EAM Jaishankar meets New Zealand PM Ardern, discusses deeper bilateral cooperation
He also had a bilateral meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday and discussed deepening the bilateral cooperation between both countries "through focused engagement in areas of strength"
"Pleasure to call on Prime Minister @jacindaardern of New Zealand. Conveyed the personal greetings of PM @narendramodi. Discussed deepening our bilateral cooperation through focused engagement in areas of strength," he tweeted after the meeting.
Later in the day, PM Ardern joined him at the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Awards 2022 and the New Zealand launch of 'Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery'. "Value the presence of PM @jacindaardern , her cabinet colleagues and MPs at the event," EAM Jaishankar said on Twitter.
He earlier had a bilateral meeting with New Zealand's Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta during which he took up the issue of Indian students impacted by Covid measures.
"We spoke a bit about the need for better air connectivity. I also raised with the Minister, concerns which some of our students have faced, students who had to leave New Zealand during the Covid period and who didn't have the opportunity to get their visas renewed," EAM Jaishankar said at a joint press interaction with his New Zealand counterpart.
"I urged a fairer and more sympathetic treatment for them, also students who are waiting to come to New Zealand to pursue their studies and whether the visa process for them could be hastened," he added.
According to him, the discussions also covered the security situation in the Indo-Pacific and the consequences of the Ukraine as well as major global isssues like climate action and climate justice.
EAM Jaishankar described his visit as an endeavour by two countries "to forge a more contemporary relationship".
Thanking her Indian counterpart for the visit, Mahuta tweeted, "Ngā mihi @DrSJaishankar for the generous time you have given to visit to Aotearoa New Zealand. As we celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and India, it was a pleasure to reconnect in person and strengthen our relationship even further".
"The warmth of our discussion enabled us to focus on matters that are mutually beneficial economic opportunities, people to people engagements, agricultural innovation and our commitment to climate action," she added.
India's External Affairs Minister, who is on his first visit to New Zealand, began his official engagements with a traditional Maori welcome.