Palestine asks Zambia to open Embassy

The Palestinian government has invited Zambia to open a foreign mission in that country.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Riad Malki, extended the invitation through his Zambia counterpart, Wylber Simuusa in Kuwait today.

ZANIS reports that the call by Palestine to open a foreign mission in that country comes barely two days after the Kuwait government made a similar invitation to Zambia.

Dr. Malki said the appeal to Zambia to physically establish itself in Palestine through opening of an embassy is in appreciation of what the Zambian government has done to Palestine and her people.

He said without the support of Zambia, Palestine would not be what it is today adding that time had come to show appreciation in a special way.

Dr. Malki has since assured Zambia that his country was ready to cement further the relationship existing between the two countries through cooperation and investment in many sectors with more emphases on agriculture.

He said he was aware that the issue of food security was cardinal for both Zambia and Palestine and has further pledged his country’s support to the agricultural sector.

Dr. Malki also called on Zambia to find land for agricultural development, saying his country was ready to help the sector through crop diversification and agro research.

“I know that some countries have huge financial resources, but we have enough human resources in the field of agriculture and natural resources. We can even partner with other Arab countries and together work towards improving the agricultural sector in various ways,” he said.

He added that Palestine was also willing to intervene in the challenges Zambia was facing in other sectors including education and health adding that this could work well if the two countries opened up embassies in each others’ country.

And Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Wylber Simuusa assured Dr. Malki that despite allowing Arab countries to open embassies in the country and vice versa, Zambia remained and will continue to be a haven and promoter of peace in the region, Africa-Arab region and world over.

Mr. Simuusa said Zambia was recognized as a champion of peace and assured his Palestinian counterpart that it would always endeavour to stand for peace, unity and stability in all its dealings and bilateral relations with other countries.

He told Dr. Malki that Zambia still depends on copper, which is a diminishing asset, for economic development and was in a hurry to develop the agricultural sector.

“Zambia has over 700,000 square kilometers of land of which almost 90 per cent is arable although very little of it was being used for agricultural purposes,” he said.

He added that the government was willing to partner with any country in developing the sector at all costs.

He however stated that Zambia produces enough food from the meager resources adding that there was usually a surplus which the country exports to its neighbours that face food deficits for various reasons.

The two foreign ministers tasked their ambassadors in Ethiopia, Susan Sikaneta for Zambia and Zuhair Al-Shun for Palestine, to quickly meet and draw up a development programme, especially in the agricultural sector and present it to the two governments for scrutiny and approval.

Meanwhile, Zambian Ambassador to Ethiopia, Susan Sikaneta said Zambia was ordained by God in championing peace as evidenced in the 50 years of independence in peace, unity and tranquility.

Ms. Sikaneta assured Dr. Malki that Zambia supports the relationship that exists between the two countries and would find it easy to open a foreign mission in his country.

Two days ago, Kuwait and Zambia considered opening up foreign missions in each others’ country with a view to strengthening the existing cooperation and relations between the two countries.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilbur Simuusa, revealed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Kuwait after he attended bilateral discussions with his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, who is also Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister.

Mr. Simuusa said the Kuwait government acknowledged the strong relations and cooperation that exist between the two countries and saw the need for stronger partnership and cooperation through opening of diplomatic relations.