External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday held "warm and productive" talks with his New Zealand counterpart Nanaia Mahuta during which the two leaders exchanged views on issues of international concerns such as the Indo-Pacific and the Ukraine conflict.
It is Mr Jaishankar's first visit to New Zealand as External Affairs Minister.
"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," Mr Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
Warm and productive talks with New Zealand Foreign Minister @NanaiaMahuta this afternoon.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 6, 2022
Two societies, respectful of tradition and culture are seeking to forge a more contemporary relationship. pic.twitter.com/8xdZLunxHF
"Appreciated the exchange of views on (issues of) international concerns such as the Indo-Pacific and the Ukraine conflict. Value our working together in multilateral forums including the UN and Commonwealth," he said.
India, the US, and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.
China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
India has repeatedly emphasised on the immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine and the need to resolve the ongoing conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
Mr Jaishankar also took up the issue of Indian students impacted by COVID measures in New Zealand and urged expeditious visa processing of those desirous of studying in New Zealand now.
India is the second largest source of international students in New Zealand pursuing higher education in various disciplines such as information technology, hospitality, science, engineering and architecture.
He also met Associate Minister for foreign affairs Aupito William Sio during his meeting with Mahuta.
"Pleasure to meet Associate Minister for foreign affairs @AupitoWSio_MP during my talks with FM @NanaiaMahuta Benefitted from his insights on Pacific Islands," Mr Jaishankar tweeted.
On Wednesday, Mr Jaishankar met Indian-origin minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and also had an interactive session with prominent personalities of the country.
“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,” he tweeted.
Ms Radhakrishnan is New Zealand's Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector, Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, and Youth.
She is the first person of Indian origin to become a minister in New Zealand.
New Zealand has approximately 2,50,000 persons of Indian origin and NRIs, a vast majority of which have made the country their permanent home.
During the visit, Mr Jaishankar will join Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday to felicitate members of the Indian community. for their exceptional achievements and contributions.
"Both leaders will release India@75 postage stamps to commemorate and showcase Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in New Zealand," an External Affairs Ministry statement said on Monday.
Mr Jaishankar will also 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 on the occasion.
Further, he will interact with parliamentarians, members of the business community as well as Indian expatriates, including students.
In Wellington, Mr Jaishankar will inaugurate the newly constructed building of the High Commission of India.
Mr Jaishankar is on a week-long visit to New Zealand and Australia.
In Australia, the External Affairs Minister will visit Canberra and Sydney.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)