Regional conflicts worry Lungu, Zuma

THE political, economic and security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and in the Kingdom of Lesotho have remained a source of concern in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Zambia and South Africa have reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the region remained politically and economically stable.

President Edgar Lungu and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma yesterday held bilateral talks in Cape Town and expressed concern at the continued political conflicts in some parts of the region.

Mr Lungu said after the meeting that the talks were largely consultative on a number of areas and how best Zambia under his presidency was going to integrate in SADC and other regional bodies.

He said the African Union (AU) has been championing the reformation of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and it was important he extensively consulted on the position SADC was considering.

The Head of State said it was because of the improved diplomatic relations that Zambia and South Africa were enjoying that the Yellow fever tests policy between the two countries had been abandoned and that the citizens of the two countries could freely interact.

President Lungu however said there were a lot of diplomatic issues between the two countries that were still sticky but that Zambia and South Africa were working to resolve the challenges.

“We have consulted on a number of issues and also on the areas of cooperation and we want to see how best we can integrate into SADC.  We still have a lot of issues that are still sticky and we are determined to resolve them to continue enhancing our relations.

‘‘There are a lot of areas where we need our cooperation and we had the issue of the yellow fever that is now behind us as two countries,” President Lungu said.    President Lungu congratulated South Africa for assuming the position of chair of the G77 and China.

And President Zuma said President Lungu was in South Africa for a working visit and that the two heads of State were consulting each other on an array of issues in the region and at continental level.

He said Zambia and South Africa were enjoying healthy bilateral relations and that it was important that President Lungu who had just been elected should call on him to consult.

President Zuma said the two countries discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues and acknowledged the long-standing support Zambia provided during the liberation struggle, adding that the people of the two countries had since established mutual bonds


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