Minister for Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam thanked New Zealand for its cooperation with Singapore in various areas including economy and defence at a reception in Wellington today.
The reception, hosted by New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, was held to celebrate 50 years of Singapore's independence, 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and New Zealand, and 40 years of partnership between ASEAN and New Zealand.
Speaking at the reception, Mr Shanmugam pointed out that New Zealand was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Singapore after it became independent.
He added that the long-standing friendship between both countries was underpinned by strong political, economic, defence and people-to-people cooperation.
"More recently, New Zealand mourned with Singapore over the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The New Zealand Governor-General attended the State Funeral. The New Zealand Parliament also adopted a motion to pay tribute to Mr Lee. We thank New Zealand for the strong show of support," Mr Shanmugam said.
He met Mr McCully to reaffirm the "excellent" bilateral relations and to discuss ways to strengthen the relationship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement today.
They also exchanged views on regional and international developments as Mr Shanmugam welcomed New Zealand's interest to step up its engagement of ASEAN.
Separately, Mr Shanmugam, who is also Minister for Law, met the New Zealand Minister of Justice, Courts, Broadcasting and Communications Amy Adams and exchanged views on legal and judicial issues of mutual concern. He also met New Zealand's Labour Party leader Andrew Little, with whom he discussed Singapore-New Zealand relations and developments in ASEAN and the region.
Mr Shanmugam, who arrived in New Zealand yesterday, will return to Singapore tomorrow.