PRETORIA– Zambian President Edgar Lungu is in South Africa for consultations with his local counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, on bilateral and regional matters and the South African leader has announced that he will be going to Zambia for a State visit.

Ramaphosa said after he was elected President of South Africa last month that he would embark on a regional familiarization tour which would take him to Zambia.

Speaking when he met President Lungu at Oliver Tambo House here Tuesday, Ramaphosa said Zambia and South Africa enjoyed cordial and warm relations arising from their historical, cultural, social and economic ties.

President Lungu congratulated Ramaphosa on his election as President of the ANC by the 54th ANC Conference held in December 2017. He also congratulated Ramaphosa for being elected as the country’s Head of State by Parliament on Feb 15.

Lungu said he is happy that the bilateral relations and co-operation have resulted in economic and social benefits for the two countries.

The president was in Botswana before arriving here to consult with Ramaphosa on regional matters including issues related to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Recently, DRC President Joseph Kabila was in Zambia for similar consultations.

Ramaphosa is the current Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) while Lungu is the Deputy Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security.

Lungu is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Malanji, Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe and State House Private Secretary Daniel Siwo.

Meanwhile Minister Malanji has called for the two countries to implement the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two States recently.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu, Malanji stated that the agreements which relate to economic issues would help in balancing trade between the two countries.

Sisulu called on the Zambian government to help in identifying graves of the remains of freedom fighters who died in Zambia and repatriate them to South Africa.

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