Thu, 21 Sep 2023

Wellington [New Zealand], October 6 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar held talks with his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta on Thursday and 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 of Indian students who desire to study in New Zealand.

"Warm and productive talks with New Zealand Foreign Minister @NanaiaMahuta this afternoon. Two societies, respectful of tradition and culture are seeking to forge a more contemporary relationship," the minister tweeted.

"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 added.

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.

Jaishankar also met New Zealand's Associate Minister for foreign affairs Aupito William Sio and got insights on Pacific Islands. "Pleasure to meet Associate Minister for foreign affairs @AupitoWSio_MP during my talks with FM @NanaiaMahuta. Benefitted from his insights on Pacific Islands," EAM tweeted.

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 tweeted.

In Auckland, EAM will participate in an event on October 6 along with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to felicitate members of the Indian community in New Zealand for their exceptional achievements and contributions.

Both leaders will 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.

India and New Zealand have a longstanding and friendly relationship. Despite COVID impediments, the engagement between the two countries continued to grow during the year.

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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