Tue, 30 May 2023

Port Moresby [Papua New Guinea], May 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held bilateral talks with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Port Moresby during which they discussed enhancing ties in various sectors including commerce, education, IT, tourism, etc.

It was the first interaction between the two leaders after Hipkins took over from his predecessor Jacinda Arden.

There were some doubts whether the Hipkins would go ahead with his visit to Papua New Guinea after the last-minute cancellation of Joe Biden since the New Zealand PM had scheduled his visit to the Pacific Island nation to coincide with that of the US President and PM Modi.

In a warm gesture towards India, Hipkins insisted on flying to Papua New Guinea especially to meet PM Modi, according to sources.

After the meeting with the New Zealand PM, PM Modi tweeted, "Had an excellent meeting with New Zealand PM @chrishipkins and discussed the full range of India-NZ relations. We talked about how to improve commercial and cultural linkages between our nations."The Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said, "Giving fresh impetus to India-New Zealand relationship. "PM @narendramodi met PM @chrishipkins of New Zealand in Port Moresby.

"The two leaders, in what was their first interaction, discussed expanding cooperation in various sectors including tradecommerce, education, culture, sports and people to people ties," the MEA spokesperson tweeted.

PM Modi on Sunday arrived in Papua New Guinea on the on the second leg of his three-country visit.

The prime minister tweeted before his departure about his historic visit and also thanked PM James Marape for the warm welcome he was accorded. Earlier today in Papua New Guinea, PM Modi underlined the role of capacity building in the India-Pacific Island countries partnership. He interacted with alumni of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) from across Pacific Island Countries (PIC).

PM Modi co-chaired the 3rd India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape. Notably, 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs) participated in the summit.

Addressing the FIPIC Summit, PM Modi said that India is ready to share its experiences and capabilities with Pacific island countries without any hesitation.

"My Papua New Guinea visit has been a historic one. I will greatly cherish the affection received among the people of this wonderful nation. I also had the opportunity to interact with respected FIPIC leaders and discuss ways to deepen ties with their respective nations," PM Modi said.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also held a meeting with New Zealand PM Chris Hipkins today. Taking to his Twitter handle, Blinken called New Zealand an "important partner" in the Pacific and around the world.

Blinken tweeted, "Good meeting with Prime Minister Hipkins today in Port Moresby. New Zealand is an important partner in the Pacific and around the world. US-NZ partnership is key to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region." (ANI)

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