Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her joint press release with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that Germany looks toward intensification of mutual relations between the two countries. This came in as a follow up of her visit to in November last year, and Merkel stood determined to take the bilateral ties a step ahead. Reaffirming that this partnership was defined by shared values, vibrant political, economic, scientific and cultural engagement, strong people to people links and close cooperation on a range of international issues, Merkel welcomed the increased tempo of visits by senior political figures in both directions, as well as productive engagement on a wide range of global issues.
Chancellor said Germany looked forward to a continuing pattern of regular political level visits and dialogue with New Zealand and hoped this engagement would be supplemented from 2016 with the inaugural visit of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Fellow for Germany, to New Zealand. Extending forward the consistentcy in staying put with the agreement in 2014, Merkel stated that there had been an increasing breadth of discussion between the two governments. She said, ‘We have directed senior officials to continue to take regular opportunities to share perspectives and experiences on issues of mutual interest, in particular including international and regional political, economic and security matters. We appreciated the growing trade and investment ties between our countries. We welcomed the recent successful conclusion of negotiations between New Zealand and the European Union for the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation, which provides a formal structure for relations between New Zealand and the European Union.’
On EU’s stance pertaining to New Zealand, Merkel said, ‘We also warmly welcomed the announcement that the EU and New Zealand will start the process for negotiations to achieve swiftly a deep and comprehensive high-quality Free Trade Agreement, and we look forward to this taking place as soon as possible.’ Discussions between the two leaders ranged across the board of sectors, and Merkel spoke about this thus — Science and innovation engagement has gathered further momentum over the last year. Collaboration in medical robotics between the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has now achieved the status of an ICON project; and further joint scientific endeavour is under way, notably in agricultural sciences.
Yesterday, we both took part in the High-Level Opening Meeting of the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande. Both countries strongly support the adoption of an ambitious, durable, comprehensive and legally binding agreement to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre industrial levels and will work towards a successful outcome of the Conference. We also joined 37 other countries to support a Communiqué calling on the international community to eliminate inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies as a major contribution to climate change mitigation.
A cohesively strong partnership is what Merkel termed the bilateral ties with New Zealand, saying — shared values had reinforced mutual interest in close engagement on significant international developments, including on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, international refugee and migration issues and relations with countries in Asia. We agreed on the importance of promoting the resolution of maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. We are committed to fully utilise the potential of the Working Holiday Programme. Our common interest in promoting peace and international security, as well as higher education, will be given tangible recognition through a New Zealand Prime Minister’s Peace and Security Scholarship for a German student to undertake Master’s study in New Zealand.