MACKSON WASAMUNU, Helsinki, Finland
MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba says his visit to Finland provided a solid platform for Zambia to build on the strong bilateral ties that have existed for 50 years.
And Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari has called on Zambia to remain focused on matters of peace and security to remain a shining example on the continent.
Mr Kalaba, who had several high-level meetings with Finnish leaders, including a meeting with his counterpart Timo Soini, and the Minister for Foreign Trade and Investments, discussed a number of bilateral and multilateral issues of common interest with the hosts.
He said the Finnish government has expressed interest to work and support Zambia in her quest to diversify her economy from being copper-dependent to other economic sectors.
“My meeting with the foreign minister was meant to strengthen our bilateral and multilateral ties because the Zambian government wants to exacerbate relations with Finland,” Mr Kalaba said.
He said Finland also agreed to collaborate with Zambia on matters of peace and security, as she takes over the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council.
Mr Kalaba said Mr Ahtisaari congratulated Zambia on her good governance and peaceful record.
And Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen described the minister’s visit to his country as very important and one that will help establish a more solid base for bilateral and multilateral co-operation between the two country’s relations.
And Zambia’s Charge’ D’ Affaires to Sweden Anthony Mukwita said the visit by Mr Kalaba sets pace for the mission to intensify its activities in promoting the country’s economic diplomacy.