New Zealand prime minister hails Merkel as ‘true leader’

Sydney, Australia, Nov 12 (EFE) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid tribute to outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday, calling her a true leader and someone with clout in international diplomacy.

“Your constant engagement with the world, thoughtfulness and willingness to hear the perspective of others, in my mind, is a reflection of a true leader but also just a very good person,” said Ardern during a virtual address at the CEO forum on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, her office confirmed to EFE.

The 67-year-old German chancellor – whose country is not a part of APEC – and the 41-year-old New Zealand leader took part in the two-day event concluding Friday, to present their views on the global situation during Covid-19.

Described as “leader of the free world” by former United States President Barack Obama, Merkel is set to step down from politics undefeated this year with the austere response to the eurozone crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic as the biggest challenges during her term.

She is also known for her gesture of solidarity by not closing their borders to refugees in 2015.

At the business summit, Merkel and Ardern spoke about the climate crisis, the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need for dialogue and cooperation among world leaders to address global problems.

The business event is a prelude to the leaders’ summit of the APEC, which accounts for 60 percent of global GDP and more than half of global trade, representing a market of about 2.85 billion consumers or 40 percent of the world’s population.

The 21 economies that make up APEC – founded in 1989 to promote free trade – are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, the US, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. EFE


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