Sunday, May 19, 2024

German Foreign Minister lands in NZ

Foreign Minister, Winston Peters says he discussed the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and enhanced cooperation in the Pacific with German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, during her first official visit to New Zealand today. 

“New Zealand and Germany enjoy shared interests and values, including the rule of law, democracy, respect for the international system and human rights,” Mr Peters says.

“This was a great opportunity to share views on the inter-connected security threats in our regions, including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as well as on our steadfast efforts to secure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“We also discussed how best to strengthen cooperation in the Pacific and in Antarctica, where we can and should be doing much more together. In this context, we welcome the opening of the German Embassy in Suva.”

The Ministers witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Arrangement between Antarctica New Zealand and the Alfred Wegener Institute. 

“Antarctica is of increasing geostrategic and scientific interest, and this arrangement will broaden connections between our marine and polar science institutes.” 

Mr Peters says Minister Baerbock’s visit underlines how much Germany matters to New Zealand.

“Germany is our largest export market in Europe.  It is also New Zealand’s most important science and innovation partner and largest education market in Europe, and the source of significant numbers of tourists and young people on working holidays,” he said.

“The entry into force on 1 May of the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement is also creating new opportunities for our investors and exporters.”

The Ministers also discussed Germany’s recent attribution of malicious cyber activity to agents of the Russian Government.  

“New Zealand joins Germany in strongly condemning this malicious cyber activity.”

“We urge all countries to uphold the rules-based international order. Actions of this nature undermine economic freedom and global security and are totally unacceptable,” said Mr Peters.

While in Auckland, Minister Baerbock is meeting Ministers Judith Collins and Simon Watts, for discussions on space, science and climate change cooperation. 

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