FOREIGN Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Stanley Kakubo says President Hakainde Hichilema is scheduled to travel to South Africa today to pay a courtesy call on South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a statement, Tuesday, Kakubo said the Head of State would hold bilateral talks with his South African counterpart which would centre on regional peace and security.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation wishes to inform the nation that Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, is scheduled to undertake a two-day working visit to the Republic of South Africa from the 26th to 27th January, 2022. The President will be accompanied by Hon. Stanley K. Kakubo, M.P, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Hon. Ambrose Lufuma M.P, Minister of Defence. His Excellency Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa is the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. In this regard, President Hichilema will be paying a courtesy call on President Ramaphosa in his capacity as SADC Chair of the Organ,” read the statement.
“During the visit, President Hichilema will therefore hold bilateral talks with his counterpart, which will centre on regional peace and security. The SADC Organ is mandated with the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and rule of law among SADC Member States.”
He said President Hichilema attached great importance to peace initiatives in the region.
“Over the years, the Organ has been involved in peace efforts in several countries, including Lesotho, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Eswatini and of course topically, the political and security situation in northern Mozambique. The SADC Organ Troika is comprised of three members, namely; South Africa (Chair), Namibia (In-coming Chair) and Botswana (Out-going Chair). President Hichilema attaches great importance to peace initiatives in the region and remains firmly committed to ensuring that Zambia continues to play a pivotal role in the SADC Peace Agenda,” he stated.
Kakubo said Zambia and South Africa would continue to collaborate at regional and international levels through SADC.
“The Republic of Zambia and the Republic of South Africa share excellent historical bilateral relations and cooperation, within the framework of our Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC). Zambia will continue to collaborate with South Africa at regional, continental and international levels through SADC, COMESA, the African Union, the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The strong multilateral cooperation between the two countries is premised on shared values and principles,” stated Kakubo.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is confident that the continued engagement of President Hichilema with his counterparts in the region and beyond will contribute immensely to the country’s economic transformation agenda, and yield tangible benefits for the people of Zambia. President Hichilema and his delegation are scheduled to return to Zambia immediately after their engagements.”