By REBECCA MUSHOTA -
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has said he is confident that the relationship between Zambia and Morocco will grow into stronger bilateral cooperation for the benefit of people of both countries.
President Lungu said the cordial relations that existed between Zambia and Morocco would be augmented after holding of discussions with King Mohammed VI of Morocco at the end of the week.
The Moroccan king is expected in Zambia for a State visit at the weekend.
Mr Lungu said that Zambia and Morocco had cordial relations based on strong bonds of friendship, respect and bilateral cooperation.
The President said this when he received letters of credence from the Moroccan Ambassador to Zambia Saadiael Alaqui yesterday at State House.
“I do look forward to receiving His Majesty at the end of the week. I am confident we shall have fruitful discussions aimed at augmenting bilateral cooperation between our two countries,” Mr Lungu said.
He said he was confident that Ms Alaqui’s appointment as Moroccan Ambassador to Zambia would enhance the relations between the two countries.
President Lungu also said he supported King Mohammed’s efforts to combat climate change.
Mr Lungu said the successful hosting of the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22) recently was one of the efforts of the king and the people of Morocco to fight climate change.
He said climate change was one of the most urgent matters that Africa faced because of the negative effects on its developmental agenda.
And King Mohammed said he assigned Ms Alaqui to Zambia because of his desire to strengthen friendship and bilateral ties between Zambia and Morocco.
The king said in a letter read by Ms Alaqui that the two countries had warm historical ties that should be strengthened.
He said Morocco was keen on sincere bilateral relations that would benefit the people of that country and Zambia.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has described the election of Adama Barrow as president of The Gambia as a demonstration of the strength and inherent value of democracy that exists in that country.
President Lungu, who has sent a message of congratulations to the President-elect Mr Barrow, said that the people of Gambia had spoken, as a confirmation of their trust and confidence in Mr Barrow’s vision to lead the nation to another level.
Mr Lungu assured that the President-elect should count on Zambia’s support to consolidate the gains of democracy in The Gambia.
This is according to a statement issued by President Lungu’s Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda.
“The President noted that Zambia and Gambia share a lot in common, including being members of the Commonwealth, African Union, as well as Zambia, playing a part in exporting legal, academic and wildlife professionals to that country,” Mr Chanda said.
The President said Zambia was proud of the smooth power transition taking place in The Gambia and pledged its commitment to maintaining and enhancing the warm relations that the two countries enjoyed for mutual benefit.
President Lungu also commended the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh for graciously conceding defeat by offering unconditional support and the necessary political space, to the new administration to move the country forward.
He said Mr Jammeh’s gracious acceptance of the will of the people and prompt call to his supporters to accept the outcome of the election was a sure way of creating the necessary conditions for national healing and reconciliation.