Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Auckland [New Zealand], October 6 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar called on New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Auckland on Thursday and conveyed the personal greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jaishankar, who is on his first visit to the country, discussed ways to deepen India-New Zealand ties with PM Ardern.

"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," Jaishankar tweeted.

Before meeting PM Ardern, Jaishankar held talks with his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta, during which he took up visa issues being faced by Indian students due to Covid-19 measures imposed by the country.

During the discussion with minister Mahuta, Jaishankar requested expeditious visa processing for Indian students who desire to study in New Zealand. "Took up the issue of Indian students impacted by Covid measures. Urged expeditious visa processing of those desirous of studying in New Zealand now," he tweeted.

Jaishankar said if India and New Zealand play to their strengths, including business, education, and agriculture, both the countries can cooperate on pressing global issues including climate action, pandemics and maritime security.

The external affairs minister also appreciated the exchange of views on international concerns such as the Indo-Pacific and the Ukraine conflict. He also said India values its working relationship with New Zealand in multilateral forums including the UN and Commonwealth.

This is ongoing visit is Jaishankar's first trip to New Zealand. A day earlier, the EAM had met with the first Indian-origin Minister of New Zealand Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

"Good to meet Minister @priyancanzlp today in Auckland. Thank her for an interactive session with prominent personalities of New Zealand. Committed to furthering our relationship," Jaishankar said in an earlier tweet.

Following the ceremonial call on, Jaishankar and PM Ardern are expected to release India@75 postage stamps to commemorate and showcase Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsavin New Zealand. Minister Jaishankar will launch the book 'Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery'.

A book showcasing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special bond with the Sikh community 'Heartfelt - The Legacy of Faith' will also be released, according to MEA.

After finishing his New Zealand visit, EAM will be visiting Canberra and Sydney. It will be EAM's second visit to Australia this year, the first being in February 2022 to attend the Quad Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Melbourne.

Jaishankar will also be meeting Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles. (ANI)

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