Zambia calls for high level interaction with Turkey

 Zambia calls for high level interaction with Turkey

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary for Administration, Ronald Simwinga has called for continued high-level interaction with the Turkish Government to map out strategies on how to effectively implement the signed bilateral agreements between Zambia and Turkey.

Dr Simwinga said it is important for the two countries to begin accruing benefits from the 12 bilateral agreements signed during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Zambia in July last year.

“We are a developing country and we are eager to receive investment. Some of the agreements signed are related to economy, trade and investment and on our side, we are eager to move expeditiously on this,” Dr Simwinga said.

He was speaking in Ankara this afternoon when he paid a courtesy call on Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Acting Director-General for Africa, Nilufer Erdem Kaygisiz.

Dr Simwinga who is in Ankara on a routine visit to Missions abroad, also commended the the Governments of Turkey and Zambia for collaborating in the international fora on issues of common interest.

“I am happy to note that our two friendly countries supported each other during UNESCO elections which were held in October 2019 in which Turkey won the presidency of 40th Session of UNESCO General Conference and Zambia won the vice presidency,” Dr Simwinga said.

He added that Zambia looks up to Turkey to learn best practices as a giant in the international fora with refined foreign policy orientation.

Dr Simwinga said Zambia is in the process of reforming her foreign policy to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges.

He also thanked Turkey for the continued support in capacity building through provision of scholarships.

Dr Simwinga noted that between 10 and 12 scholarships have been awarded to Zambian students to study in Turkey in recent years.

“The number of scholarships allocated to Zambia may not reflect the existing spirit of cooperation. Therefore, we requested for an increase in the number of scholarships in coming years as pronounced by His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Dr Simwinga said.

He also called for interaction between officials of the Turkish Diplomacy Academy and the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (ZIDIS) to explore possible areas of cooperation.

And Ms Kaygisiz said the Turkish Diplomacy Academy was ready to provide training for young Zambian diplomats and had since trained six Zambians at the institution.

“Our two countries enjoy warm and cordial relations and we are ready to further strengthen the existing relations and am sure we will be able to do more in all fields,” Mrs Kaygisiz said.

On the signed agreements, Mrs Kaygisiz said the Turkish Government was working towards ratifying some of the bilateral agreements signed between the two countries and that the process was expected to be completed in the next two months.

Dr Simwinga is in Turkey on a routine visit to Missions abroad.

He is accompanied by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Assistant Director Legal, Lydia Matapo and Assistant Director, Oscar Sichimba.

This is according to a media statement issued by First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Embassy in Turkey Jerry Munthali.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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