President Edgar Lungu is next month scheduled to travel to France and the Vatican for state visits.
President Lungu is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican and France President François Hollande at the Élysée Palace in the first week of February.
President Lungu will embark on his European tour after the closure of the 26th AU Summit slated for January 26-31, 2016 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
According to leaked travel schedule from State House, these will be President Lungu’s last foreign trips before he embarks on a marathon re-election campaign.
Many observers believe that President Lungu’s latest trips will help bolster his international image before the next general election which is expected to be closely contested.
Last November, Pope Francis sent his special envoy to meet President Lungu at State House where the invitation was extended to the Zambian Head of State.
In the same month, President Hollande sent his special envoy and Ecology Minister Segolene Royal to invite President Lungu for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-21) in December but President Lungu could not travel to Paris.
President Lungu has undertaken about 17 foreign trips in his 12 month stay in office.