PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says Zambia has a lot to learn from Israel in terms of water technologies.

Speaking when he met Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, President Lungu said Zambia’s relationship with Israel would last forever.

“Your excellence, good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, at the onset I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to his Excellence the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the State of Israel for extending the invitation for me to visit this great country, the State of Israel. Indeed our two countries are guided by the sheer desire to develop and strengthen the true ties of friendship between the people of the Republic of Zambia and the State of Israel. I have already explained Mr Prime Minister on the anguish we suffered when we broke our relationship from 1973 to 1993, and now it’s time we strengthen our friendship. We will not be bound by influence but we desire to improve our friendship, Zambia like I have already said has been friends on and off but this time around I think it will be forever,” President Lungu said.

He said he was looking forward to exploring areas of mutual benefit.

“My vision therefore is a good opportunity for us to explore further areas of possible cooperation, like you have said in agriculture, the Minister of Agriculture is there, energy, the Minister of Energy is there, water, and when you talk about water it’s a shame that we can come here and learn about water technologies when we have a lot of water in my part of Africa, water just gushes through and then after some times with climate change it drastically changes. So we have to learn how to do that and it’s not by coincident that we are here because we have learnt how to find water,” he said.

President Lungu said his entire Cabinet wanted to be part of the entourage because they were excited to interact with their counterparts.

“My group of ministers are very happy to have come and I was just putting them off those who have remained back home, they said we want to go, the entire Cabinet, I said no, you can’t, they have good reasons them wanting to be here, said President Lungu.

And Netanyahu said the cooperation between the two nations was important.

“President Lungu Edgar, it’s a pleasure to have you here in Jerusalem with your distinguished delegation, I want to thank you for your friendship, it was well demonstrated. We have been working together to strengthen and deepen the relations between Zambia and Israel, a year and half ago you opened an Embassy in Israel and many have visited Israel recently and are visiting again today in fields of water, agriculture, education the areas of security, defense and anti-terrorism and other areas,” said Netanyahu.

“We hope to send our experts to help with alternative energy, with water and other areas that we’ll discuss today. I look forward to deepening this cooperation, which I think is important for both our countries and both our peoples. I know that you’re opening a Jewish history museum in Zambia and soon a synagogue in the capital city. I hope one day I have the opportunity to visit those institutions and to visit Zambia.”

President Lungu is on a five-day official visit seeking to consolidate historic ties between Israel and Zambia.

His entourage includes foreign affairs minister Harry Kalaba, agriculture minister Dora Siliya, energy minister David Mabumba, health minister Chitalu Chilufya and tourism minister Charles Banda among others.