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Italy Prime Minister gets Lungu invite

PRESIDENT Lungu (right) introducing Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador Lombe Chalwe (left) to Italian Prime Minister Matteo RenzI during the Zambia/Italy Bilateral at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States of America on Sunday. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE.

PRESIDENT Lungu has invited Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to Zambia in an effort to strengthen bilateral co-operation.
President Lungu said Zambia would be happy if Mr Renzi visited Zambia to assess areas in which the two countries can forge links and build on co-operation in various sectors of the economy.
During bilateral talks on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly here on Sunday, Mr Lungu said: “We would be very glad if you found time to come to Zambia and see for yourself where we can cement our links and build on our co-operation.”
The President said Zambia and Italy have had a long-standing partnership which needs to be boosted through continued co-operation.
He said Zambia is grateful to Italy for the continued support it has rendered to various sectors of development.
He said Italy has supported Indeni Petroleum Refinery, which is the fuel hub of the country, and the now defunct Zambia Airways, the first national airline after independence.
Mr Lungu said Zambia and Italy also share cultural history as some of that country’s citizens have settled in Zambia.
Mr Renzi, the 27th Prime Minister of Italy since the end of the Second World War, serving the 63rd Government, said none of his predecessors visited the sub-Saharan Africa.
He was happy to meet President Lungu and was anxious to discuss issues relating to the two countries.
Mr Renzi said Italy has changed its approach in the way it is dealing with some African countries, embarking on more positive and mutually-beneficial co-operation.
He has embarked on an important initiative with African countries and is particularly interested in the discussion with Zambia.
“We want to discuss with you the spirit of co-operation, spirit of interaction and investment for the future,” Mr Renzi said.
Mr Lungu was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba and permanent secretary Lombe Chalwe, Zambia’s permanent representative to the UN Mwaba Kasese-Bota, and his special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda.

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