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PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu yesterday held talks with his Zimbabwean counterpart President Robert Mugabe on the importance of regional integration in ensuring development, among other issues.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting at State House in Harare, Zimbabwe, yesterday, Mr Lungu said Mr Mugabe was the most senior Head of State in the region and he had to make it a priority to make his first State visit to that country to tap into his wisdom.

It was important for Mr Lungu to pay a traditional courtesy call on Mr Mugabe, who is both Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) chairperson.

Mr Lungu arrived at Zimbabwe’s State House around 12:20 hours and only left around 16:20 hours.

Later on departure at the airport, Mr Lungu said the two heads of State also discussed the importance of peace and stability to promote investment.

He said President Mugabe was the AU chairperson and he needed to be consulted even as Mr Lungu prepared to develop Zambia.

“As you know we are in a hurry to develop the country and we need to acquire as much knowledge as possible in trying to achieve this,” Mr Lungu said.

Regional integration is key if Zambia is to develop.

Asked on the progress he was making on his on-going Mfuwe working retreat, Mr Lungu said he had made great strides in appointing his Cabinet and Zambians should expect a lot.

The President was also formulating programmes that would be implemented in the next one year and assist develop the country.

Mr Lungu was further looking at ensuring that the Government operated according to the dictates of good governance.

The President left Harare International Airport for Mfuwe at 17:00 hours aboard the Presidential Challenger.

Mr Lungu was seen off by Zimbabwean Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba, High Commission officials and other top Government officials.

As the President was leaving, thousands of Zimbabweans lined up the streets and traffic came to a standstill as the people tried to catch a glimpse of the new Zambian leader.

Speaking later in an interview, Mr Kalaba said since the President was just recently elected, it was good for him to visit the AU chairperson so that he could be briefed on issues around the continent.

Mr Kalaba described the meeting as having gone on well and that Zambians should soon expect positive fruits from the discussions.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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