New Delhi: India and New Zealand discussed steps to enhance the “depth and momentum” of engagement between the two countries in different areas including defence and security, and reiterated the importance of closer cooperation for a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The two countries had a third Foreign Office Consultations during which they reviewed ongoing bilateral cooperation. The consultations were held in a “friendly and cordial atmosphere”, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East) led the Indian delegation while New Zealand-side was led by Mark Sinclair, Deputy Secretary, Americas and Asia Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Comprehensively reviewing ongoing bilateral cooperation, both sides discussed the steps to be taken to enhance the depth and momentum of engagement in different areas including defence and security, trade and investment, space, counterterrorism, cyber security, disarmament and climate change, and for strengthening people-to-people ties,” the statement read.
The two sides also discussed the response to the COVID-19 and access to vaccines and medicines for containing the pandemic globally. The MEA informed that both sides exchanged views on various regional issues.
“They reiterated the importance of closer cooperation for a rules-based international order and a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. They also discussed ways to strengthen coordination in multilateral and regional fora,” the statement added.
The previous round of consultations took place on February 5, 2019, in New Delhi. Both sides agreed to hold the next consultations at a mutually convenient date.