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‘Zambia will reap from foreign relations’

MINISTER of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba flanked by State House special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda (left) and Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Chalwe Lombe (right) speaks to journalists at State House yesterday. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

STEVEN MVULA, Parliament & HONE SIAME, Kitwe
PARLIAMENT heard yesterday that Zambia is promoting lasting peace between warring nations such as Israel and Palestine.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba said Zambia has taken a neutral position and wants to promote peace between countries that have differences.
He was responding to a question by Sesheke member of Parliament Frank Kufakwandi (UPND) who wanted to know how Zambia would relate with Palestine now that it has deepened its relations with Israel.
This was after Mr Kalaba gave a ministerial statement on President Lungu’s international trips and their benefits to Zambia and the world as a whole.
“We want to bridge the political divide between Israel and Palestine. We will find common ground because we want these two nations to be at peace with each other,” Mr Kalaba said.
Mr Kalaba said the world has become competitive and that there was need for Zambia to invest in international relations to reap benefits.
He said Zambia is, however, treading carefully pushing its own agenda on the international scene.
“Zambia is in the international arena for its own interests. We will ensure that we safeguard our interests as a nation as we forge these relations,” Mr Kalaba said.
He said President Lungu’s international trips have attracted huge investments in trade and development cooperation which will culminate into the creation of jobs for Zambians and improve their lives.
“Zambia will therefore continue to reach out to the international community in order to realise maximum benefits for the country towards sustainable development,” Mr Kalaba said.
President Lungu visited Israel from February 27 to March 3, 2017 at the invitation of Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the State of Israel.
Meanwhile, opposition Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) has urged President Lungu not to be distracted by his critics from using international trips to woo foreign investors to come and invest in various sectors of Zambia’s economy.
ZED spokesperson Wesley Miyanda said in an interview yesterday, the President’s foreign trips are aimed at cementing Zambia’s international relations and attract investments.
Mr Miyanda said foreign trips are also important in alleviating poverty among citizens through various international deals clinched during such visits across the globe.

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