WELLINGTON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern highlighted the deepening partnership between New Zealand and Germany following her meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday.
"Germany's leadership has been vital in helping Europe, and indeed the world, weather the storms of the past decade," Ardern said in a statement.
"As a country that shares Germany's commitment to open, democratic societies and the rules-based international system, New Zealand welcomes the role Germany plays in advancing these values," she said.
The prime minister discussed with Merkel a range of key regional and international security challenges, and shared concerns about challenges to global institutions and rising protectionism.
Ardern thanked Merkel for German's strong support for a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union, and conveyed New Zealand's hope that negotiations would get under way in May.
"We agreed there needed to be a new model for FTAs that reflected social and environmental goals as well as trade, and the importance of rules-based trade regimes," Ardern said.
The two sides also discussed the prospect of collaboration on space.