Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta to attend NATO meeting in Brussels

  • 02/04/2023
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta Photo credit: Getty Images

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta is set to leave for a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels and will also make a short bilateral visit to Sweden.

"NATO is a long-standing and likeminded partner for Aotearoa New Zealand," she said in a statement.

"It is valuable to join a session of this meeting in person, to express our ongoing condemnation of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine one year on, and as NATO and New Zealand work to renew our formal partnership this year."

Her travel comes after former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went to the NATO Summit in Madrid last year, a first for a New Zealand leader.

"It is important that we continue to engage with our close partners to address shared security challenges, many of which are global in nature with wide-ranging implications, including in the Pacific," Mahuta said.

"The visit will also provide the opportunity to hold bilateral calls with a number of my counterparts from the NATO allies and our other close partners."

After she spends two days in Brussels, Mahuta will spend two days in Stockholm and meet Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström.

"Sweden is the current president of the EU, and one of New Zealand's closest European partners whose strong support helped enable the successful negotiation of the NZ-EU free trade agreement," she added.

While in Stockholm Mahuta will also engage with Sámi representatives, including the President of the Swedish Sámi Parliament Plenary Assembly, Daniel Holst Vinka.

"As indigenous peoples, Māori and Sámi share many interests and already work together on a number of challenges on the international stage. This is an opportunity to deepen these connections," Mahuta said.