New Zealand and Fiji have signed a defense agreement aimed at increasing coordination of military training, maritime security, disaster and humanitarian aid between the two Pacific nations.
Reuters states that this step comes as New Zealand, Australia and their allies work to prevent Pacific countries from establishing security relations with China, which already signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands last year.
At the same time, Wellington is also discussing a new type of partnership with NATO, which is likely to extend to areas of common interest such as the international rules-based order, climate change and cybersecurity, the country’s foreign minister announced on Wednesday.
As you know, New Zealand has been a NATO partner since 2012, but not a member.
A NATO statement issued in February said New Zealand and the military alliance would strengthen their relationship to address common security challenges. New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins confirmed earlier this week that he will attend a NATO summit in Lithuania, and will also visit China at the end of June.
We also reported that NATO will establish a liaison office in Tokyo in 2024 and use it as a hub for cooperation with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
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