GOVERNMENT says that the overwhelming number of foreign dignitaries that have taken part in the country’s independence Golden Jubilee was an indication that Zambia’s foreign relations with the world were good.
Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba said Government was happy that the world had joined Zambia in celebrating the country’s 50th independence anniversary.
Mr Kalaba told the Daily Nation that it was pleasing that a lot of foreign dignitaries had found time to join Zambia in celebrating her independence Golden Jubilee.
He said Zambia was enjoying exceptional diplomatic relations with a lot of the countries in the world and that was why many of them had come to join the country in celebrating its 50th independence anniversary.
He said government was determined to continue improving its diplomatic relations with the region, Africa and the world at large and that was why the foreign policy had been revised so that it could be in tandem with the Patriotic Front (PF) government.
Mr Kalaba said government had revised the foreign policy so as to cement its diplomatic relationships with its neighbours and other countries across the globe.
He explained that it was heartening that the world was celebrating with Zambia during her 50th anniversary adding that he was aware that Zambians would have dearly loved to have the event celebrated with President Michael Sata.
Mr Kalaba said the Golden Jubilee was a time for the country to reflect on its achievements and failures and that it was important that the country should continue to remain peaceful despite people coming from different political, cultural and social backgrounds.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia had remained a beacon of peace and it was the desire of President Sata and his government to ensure that Zambians continued enjoying their peace and freedoms.
“We are happy that the world has joined us in celebrating our 50th independence anniversary. This goes to show that our diplomatic relations with other countries globally are good and as government, we would like to continue nurturing such relations. We have received a lot of foreign dignitaries from within Africa, Europe and Asia. This is a sign that other countries care about us and we have just revised our foreign police so that our diplomatic relations with other countries can be cemented,” Mr Kalaba said.
He said although Zambia had attained such a status, it had not been without turbulences adding that the resilience Zambians had shown in shaping their future and destiny was encouraging.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia had gone through difficult times as a young and growing economy and democracy and that the PF government was determined to improve the lives of the people in all spheres.
He said it was unfortunate that some opposition political parties had decided to boycott the Golden Jubilee celebrations adding that the event should not have been attributed to the PF as the ruling party was only privileged to have presided over the event.
Mr Kalaba said Zambia had a lot to celebrate since attaining her independence and it was his expectation that this was the time for Zambian to unite and preach messages of love and hope for each other.
Among the dignitaries that are in the country are United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas Greenfield, Nigerian Deputy President Muhammed Namadi Sambo, Uganda Vice-President Edward Ssekandi, Muhamed Gharib Bilial of Tanzania, Zimbabwe’s Joyce Mujuru, William Ruto of Kenya and Mozambique’s Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina among others. Others in the country for the Golden Jubilee are former South African President Thabo Mbeki, former Malawian president Bakili Muluzi, Rwanda’s Luwis Mushikiwah, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Jean Pierre Bemba and British Lord Turnbull