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Cook Islands and India deepen ties

Monday 26 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Local, National


Cook Islands and  India deepen ties
Her Excellency Mrs Neeta Bhushan, High Commissioner of the Republic of India to the Cook Islands, and Her Excellency Kairangi Samuela, Cook Islands High Commissioner. Photo Credit: India in New Zealand (High Commission of India, Wellington)/24022504

The High Commissioner of the Republic of India to the Cook Islands, Neeta Bhushan is visiting the Cook Islands this week. She arrived in Rarotonga on Thursday, February 22 for a five-day visit.

During her visit, she will meet with Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Tepaeru Herrmann, call on the King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters and the Foreign Minister Tingika Elikana and other senior government officials, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said in a statement.

“This visit by High Commissioner Bhushan, who is based in Wellington, is an opportunity to strengthen co-operation between the Cook Islands and India.

“Discussions during this visit will be focused on the India Grant Fund (IGF), training courses delivered by India, the Forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC), co-operation in information technology including through the Centre of Excellence (CEIT) in Rarotonga as well as forward collaboration in the multilateral fora.”

This year will mark the 26th year of diplomatic relations between the Cook Islands and India with engagements between the two elevated in recent years.

The most recent high-level engagements were held in May last year when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Mark Brown met in the margins of the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Hiroshima, Japan.  Both Leaders subsequently co-chaired the 3rd Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea later that month.

Foreign Secretary Herrmann said: “India is a significant and influential player on the international stage and affords the Cook Islands various economic, political and socio-cultural opportunities which the Cook Islands Government is committed to exploring further.”

“The outcomes of the 3rd FIPIC held in May last year provide a framework within which we can expand co-operation with India and we look forward to discussing how best and in what areas we might progress that with High Commissioner Bhushan.”