EAM Dr. S Jaishankar visits New Zealand; discusses issues related to Visa of Indian Students
External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S Jaishankar is on a visit to New Zealand. This is his first visit to the island country which witnessed talks on various issues related to bilateral cooperation between both the nations.
EAM met Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and held talks regarding strengthening of bilateral cooperation through focused engagement in areas of strength. Both the leaders participated at the Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame Awards 2022 in which they launched the much awaited New Zealand launch of Modi@20: Dreams Meet Delivery. The minister received a traditional Maori welcome at the start of his official engagements.
Earlier in the day, EAM held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Nanaia Mahuta, in Auckland. The leader deliberated on various issues that consisted of ways through which both countries can strengthen bilateral relationships in the sectors of business, education, technology, digital world, agricultural trade, talent, and most significantly, people to people connect between the two societies.
The Minister discussed issues related to the visas of Indian students whose studies were disrupted due to Covid-19 pandemic and “Urged expeditious visa processing of those desirous of studying in New Zealand now” tweets EAM.
I also raised with the Minister, concerns which some of our students have faced, students who had to leave New Zealand during the Covid period & who didn’t have the opportunity to get their visas renewed. I urged a fairer & more sympathetic treatment for them: EAM @DrSJaishankar pic.twitter.com/vjETJ3tX9U
Reportedly, most of the new Indian origin immigrants came as students and settled down in jobs and professions after completing their education. As per the 2018 census, the population of Indian origin immigrants is 2,50,000,which accounts for 5% of NZ’s total population.
World Affairs discussed in the meeting
The meeting also consisted of various geo-political issues like how India-New Zealand contributions together will shape the larger region, the Indo-Pacific region. They also discussed the present security situation in the Indo-Pacific and also the consequences arising out of the Ukraine conflict.
EAM describes the visit as an endeavor of two societies, respectful of tradition and culture, which are seeking to forge a more contemporary relationship.
During his visit the Minister met various dignitaries that included New Zealand’s Associate Minister for foreign affairs Aupito William Sio where he received insights on Pacific Islands. He also met with the first Indian-origin Minister of New Zealand Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who was recently awarded with the Pravasi Bhartiya Samman, becoming the 7th person from New Zealand to do so.
In addition, EAM also had a conversation with Simon Bridges, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber where he Conveyed perspectives on the current state of the world and where India stands on issues of the day.