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Top German diplomat to meet Lungu, opposition

VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
GERMAN Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has arrived in Zambia to hold meetings with President Lungu and Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba on various bilateral relations.
Dr Steinmeier is accompanied by members of the German Parliament, a high-ranking business and cultural delegation and the media.
The minister’s programme in Lusaka includes meetings with President Lungu, Mr Kalaba and representatives from the opposition.
In addition, Dr Steinmeier, together with Minister of Commerce and Trade Margaret Mwanakatwe, will host an economic business roundtable exploring the business climate in Zambia and investment opportunities for German companies.
This is contained in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by press and public relations manager at the German mission Carolin Bernecker.
Ms Bernecker said Dr Steinmeier will also visit one of Lusaka’s townships to familiarise himself with access to water and sanitation, urbanisation and HIV prevention measures.
And German ambassador Bernd Finke is looking forward to Dr Steinmeier’s visit.
“He comes in recognition of the long-standing cordial relations between Germany and Zambia, and to recognise Zambia’s international reputation of being a beacon of peace and stability in Africa,” he said.
He said the fact that the minister is accompanied by a high-ranking business delegation is an expression of confidence Germany has in Zambia’s ability to manage the current economic and energy crisis.
Mr Finke said the meeting with representatives from the opposition will provide him with an overview on the opposition parties’ view on the current political and economic situation in the country.
The opposition that will hold a meeting with Dr Steinmeier are MMD, UPND, FDD and NAREP.
“The minister’s visit to Lusaka will be brief, from 20 to 21 November, but I trust that it will be a very fruitful visit, which will encourage us to further deepen our bilateral relations and to speed up implementation of existing projects in the fields of water and sanitation, agriculture, energy, good governance and wildlife protection,” Mr Finke said.



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