Lungu to meet Pope, French President

PRESIDENT Lungu with his entourage at the 26th AU Summit of Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, yesterday. EDDIE MWANALEZA/ STATEHOUSE

PRESIDENT Lungu will undertake visits to Italy and France, where he will meet Pope Francis and French President Francois Hollande, respectively, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has said.
Briefing journalists here, Mr Kalaba said the President will arrive in Italy on Thursday, February 4, and will meet Pope Francis the following day.
He said the President’s visit to Italy comes at the invitation of the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, who visited Zambia last year as an envoy of the Pope to celebrate 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Zambia and the Holy See.
Mr Kalaba said while in Italy, President Lungu will also meet director generals of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
He said the President will proceed to France on a State visit on February 6, and will meet with President Hollande on February 8. While there, he will attend a business forum and meet with selected high profile French businesspersons.
During the President’s visit, three agreements will be signed – one between Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and France24, the other between the University of Zambia School of Mines and the School of Mines of the University of Nantes, while the third will be a memorandum of understanding for co-operation between the Ministry of Finance and the France Development Agency.
President Lungu will be accompanied by Mr Kalaba, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe and Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya.

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