Home » General » President Mugabe Hosts Mali’s Keita

President Mugabe last night hosted a banquet in honour of his visiting Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Harare during which he expressed the need to boost bilateral relations.

He expressed gratitude to the Malian leadership for visiting Zimbabwe on a three-day State visit.

“Your Excellency, it is when we visit each other that opportunities open up for us to review our relations and to also inject fresh energy into our interactions in various spheres,” said President Mugabe who is also the Sadc and African Union chairperson.

“Your visit, though short, will afford us an opportunity to explore ways of further strengthening our bilateral relations as well as to exchange views on issues of mutual interest to our two countries and to our continent.”

He said the freedom and independence enjoyed by African countries was born out of a committed fight against imperialists by the continent’s luminaries among them Mali founding President Modibo Keita and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

President Mugabe said both Zimbabwe and Mali had vast natural resources that could benefit the two countries if they enhanced cooperation.

“We share common aspirations and values. Most significantly, we are bound together by a common history of struggle and the desire to enhance the well-being of our people.

“Our relations are already on a sound footing and by engaging more effectively on a wide range of issues including the economic, social and cultural aspects, we can raise these relations to new levels. Opportunities exist for mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries in the areas of trade, mining and tourism. And this is by no means an exhaustive list,” said President Mugabe. He said Zimbabwe managed to bust the Western-imposed illegal sanctions as a result of the entrepreneurial spirit within its citizens.

President Mugabe said Zim Asset was the country’s economic blueprint that was expected to transform the lives of all the country’s citizens.

He said the blueprint created an opportunity for bilateral relations at both regional and international level.

He also hailed the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Bamako last month saying it would go a long way in finding last peace in Mali.

“The signing of the agreement was an important step towards achievement of sustainable peace. “The unity and cohesion of Modibo Keita’s Mali must be promoted and safeguarded so that our people can register tangible development and progress in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

“We should remain mindful that certain forces want Africa to be divided so that they can plunder our resources while we invest our energies in tension, strife and quarrels.

“It is the aantage of our continent, Your Excellency that conflicts be resolved quickly so that we can turn our attention to the objectives we have set ourselves in the context of our Agenda 2063,” said President Mugabe.

He bemoaned the surge in terrorism saying it had become one of the major threats to peace and security in the continent.

President Keita hailed President Mugabe for attending the signing ceremony on May 15, 2015 for peace and reconciliation.

“Malians and Zimbabweans are united by a common history and common identity, which transcend formal boundaries and you are yourself, a good example of such Pan Africanism who spent so many years in Ghana.

“You eloquently recalled this historical bond during the signing ceremony of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali resulting from the Algiers process, a month ago in Bamako.

“I particularly appreciated and understood your message of truth. Your heart appeal as well as your prayers for the return of peace in Mali and let me tell you, every Malians applauded your speech that day and showed much pride as Africans.

“All media in the country, be it radio and television made a great echo of what you said that day. Thank you again for being such a great Pan Africanist, a true son of Africa committed to African unity,” said President Keita.

The banquet was attended by several Government officials including Vice Presidents Emerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, several ministers and their spouses as well as service chiefs.

Source : The Herald