London: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Christopher Luxon yesterday.
The leaders discussed a wide range of international issues, as well as the thriving UK-New Zealand bilateral relationship.
The Prime Minister thanked New Zealand for their contribution to Operation Interflex, which has trained almost 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers in the UK, saying it was an extremely valuable contribution to Ukraine’s defence.
He also welcomed Prime Minister Luxon’s support for action to deter Houthi attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea. The leaders agreed it was vital to build an international coalition to stand up to aggression and defend freedom of navigation at sea, whether in the Gulf or the Pacific. On the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Prime Minister set out the UK’s work to secure the release of hostages, alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and reach a sustainable ceasefire.
Turning to economic issues, Prime Minister Luxon welcomed the UK’s accession to the major CPTPP trade bloc and the leaders highlighted the opportunities flowing from the new UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. They agreed it was important for 5 Eyes partners to continue to cooperate on addressing threats to global economic security and stability, including from China.
The Prime Minister welcomed the opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Luxon and looked forward to continuing to deepen the historic alliance between the UK and New Zealand, built on strong security, economic and cultural ties.