April 26, 2012

Sata committed to strengthening relations with Zimbabwe

Zambia was committed to strengthening relations with Zimbabwe through increased political, economic and social cooperation, visiting Zambia President Michael Sata has said. Sata made the remarks during a banquet Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe hosted for him at the State House in Harare. Sata said relations between the two countries were based on strong traditional and cultural values which saw his country getting involved in the liberation struggle of its neighbor despite having attaining its own. Sata expressed confidence that his visit would provide an opportunity for the two countries interact and consolidate the existing excellent relations. "Our two countries have forged ties based on mutual respect and benefit," he said. He said Zambia and Zimbabwe held common positions on a broad range of issues hinged on the wellbeing of their people such as HIV, global terrorism, food security and the environment.

Zambia also agreed with Zimbabwe on the need to reform the UN to make it more representative as well as more effective and efficient in its growing and varying mandate, he said. Mugabe said the independence of Zambia in 1964 inspired Zimbabweans to intensify their struggle for independence. He commended Zambia for not being content with attainment of her own independence as she got involved in the Zimbabwean liberation struggle through training, housing and feeding freedom fighters with the result that it suffered reprisals from the Smith regime.

Mugabe also said the two countries should use the joint hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization general assembly next year to find new opportunities for cooperation instead of fruitless competition. He noted with satisfaction that the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly construct a 1,650 megawatt hydro-electric power station on the Batoka Gorge at an estimated 4 billion U.S. dollars. (Xinhua)

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