JOHANNESBURG – 15TH JUNE, 2015 – PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu yesterday met new Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the African Union Summit in South Africa, where they agreed to join efforts in fighting all forms of terrorism.
The two leaders were meeting for the first time after President Buhari was elected president and inaugurated recently.
Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said the two leaders specifically agreed to work on efforts to combat terrorism, specifically Boko Haram and other associated groups.
Mr Chanda said they also talked about enhancing intra-Africa trade between the two countries and gave an example of Zambeef, which trades in both countries, as an example of how the two nations can explore trade.
He said the Presidents committed themselves to providing leadership in Africa in the area of governance, especially that the Nigerian leader has just emerged from an election.
“President Lungu encouraged him to hold Nigeria together and showcase it as an example of what can happen when a country agrees to uphold the tenets of governance,” he said.
The President also met three other leaders, King Mswati of Swaziland, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
During the meeting with Dr Mosisili, President Lungu said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) wanted an end to political turbulences in some parts of the region through dialogue by affected countries.
He said political turbulence in the region was worrying the leadership and that the countries involved should work to resolve them.
The President said this in response to Dr Mosisili’s brief on the failed coup in Lesotho and the subsequent polls that saw his re-election.
“As SADC, we get concerned when there are turbulences in our neighbouring countries but I wish to congratulate you for your re-election,” President Lungu said.
Dr Mosisili said for the first time in its history, Lesotho had a coalition Government of seven political parties and that the country had started preparations to develop a new constitution.
King Mswati asked to visit President Lungu in Zambia following the Head of State’s electoral victory in January and congratulate him after being elected as Republic President.
He said he was keen to strengthen the diplomatic relations with Zambia and to work closely with the Zambian Head of State in aspects of trade and commerce.
President Lungu urged King Mswatito bring along commerce experts on his visit to Zambia so that there could be further interaction on possible synergies in areas of interest.
During talks with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, President Lungu expressed Zambia’s interest in learning from that country on how it had set up and managed the women’s bank.
He asked the Ethiopian Government to facilitate Gender Minister Nkandu Luo’s visit to that country and explore this and other women empowerment initiatives. The Prime Minister said Ethiopia was ready to share its experiences and learn from Zambia. – TIMES OF ZAMBIA