PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu should be encouraged to rebuild diplomatic relations with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the international community instead of living in isolation, People’s Party Mike Mulongoti has said.
Mr Mulongoti said a Republican President was the first foreign affairs Minister of the country and that the image of the country depended on the relationship the Head of State had with other leaders in the region and other countries across the globe.
He said President Lungu made an assessment of the country’s diplomatic relations in the few days he had been Head of State and it was critical for him to embark on a reconstruction of the diplomatic relations so that the country was not isolated.
Mr Mulongoti said President Lungu as the new Head of State had the obligation to visit other leaders in the region to introduce himself and that the criticism he had been subjected to was untimely because Zambia could not afford to be isolated.
Mr Mulongoti explained that there was nothing wrong with President Lungu to embark on visiting neighbouring countries because this was meant to strengthen the diplomatic ties between Zambia and other countries.
He said it was important for President Lungu to patch-up Zambia’s relations with other countries if there were concerns that the diplomatic relations could have been strained.
He advised that people should not rush to condemning Mr Lungu because once he kept quiet and avoided meeting other leaders, he would easily be misconstrued to be either selfish or did not know that to say on regional and international issues.
Mr Mulongoti said Zambia had been involved in the liberation of a number of countries in the region and beyond and that he participation should not be allowed to be obliterated by souring diplomatic relations.
He observed that Zambia was getting ignored despite having played a critical role in the liberation struggle of a number of countries in SADC and it was therefore for her relations to be revived.