New Zealand recognises global, regional leadership role that India plays: Minister

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Recognising India’s leadership role on the global stage, New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday that his country is determined to build a “broader, deeper, mutually beneficial relationship” with the South Asian nation.

Beginning his visit to New Delhi and Ahmedabad on March 10, Peters will also be highlighting the shared interest of the two nations in helping the development of the Pacific Islands region.

“India is a country with which New Zealand can, should, and will be doing more. New Zealand recognises the global and regional leadership role that India plays, and we are determined to build a broader, deeper, mutually beneficial relationship,” Peters said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The minister’s three-nation tour will also see him visiting Singapore, and Indonesia to reinvigorate New Zealand’s relations with South and South East Asia.

The centrepiece engagement of the trip will be his extended meetings with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Singapore’s Vivian Balakrishnan respectively.

“It will be a privilege to spend further time with three such experienced and accomplished Foreign Ministers whose views on the issues facing the world and the Indo-Pacific in particular carry considerable weight,” Peters said.

“If New Zealand wishes to maximise our influence and impact in the region, we need to lift our game with all three of India, Indonesia, and Singapore,” he added.

Calling Gujarat “an engine of Indian economic growth” with significant connections to New Zealand’s Indian diaspora, a government release said that Peters will also meet state Chief Minister Bhupendrabhai Patel.

“In Delhi, he will be highlighting the shared interest that New Zealand and India have in helping the development of the Pacific Islands region,” the release said, adding that his India visit will conclude on March 13.



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