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MOSCOW, August 17. /TASS/. Russia and New Zealand have discussed steps aimed at developing cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday following talks with New Zealand’s top diplomat Murray McCully.
"New Zealand is our long-standing partner in the Asia-Pacific region," the minister said. "We have expressed an interest in restoring full-fledged cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis. Over the past two years, our relations have stalled becoming a hostage of short-term political considerations, which have nothing to do with the interests of deepening our bilateral ties."
"Russia and New Zealand are actively involved in the work of multilateral organizations in the Asia-Pacific region," the Russian minister said. "We discussed a more systemic approach towards harmonizing the agenda of various multilateral organizations."
Lavrov added that "we have drawn attention to the work within the framework of the East Asia summits to discuss common approaches towards ensuring a fair and equitable security and cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific region."
"New Zealand is involved in these consultations," the minister said. "We discussed further steps to be taken in this regard."
Lavrov added that the two sides "welcomed the positive dynamics in the political dialogue, including between the two countries’ foreign ministries, and agreed to make further efforts to achieve practical results in trade, economy, investment and the humanitarian area and intensify work on regulatory documents considered by the parties."
"In general, we are convinced that we have a very good potential for boosting mutually beneficial ties in a number of areas," he said.