President Edgar Lungu has arrived in Rome, Italy, ahead of his official visit to the Vatican, on Friday.
This is at the invitation of Pope Francis.
ZNBC’ s Mwila Nsofu reports from Rome that President Lungu, who is accompanied by First Lady, Esther, arrived at Fiumicino Airport, on Thursday, at 13:55 Hours Zambian time.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Harry Kalaba, Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Ambassador to the Vatican, Muyeba Chikonde and Zambia’s Ambassador to Italy, Getrude Mwape welcomed the President.
During his official visit to Europe, President Lungu, who left the country last night, is also expected to also visit France, at the invitation of President Francois Hollande.
According to President Lungu’s programme, will on Friday, hold a meeting with Pope Francis and the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
During the two-day official visit, President Lungu will also tour Saint Peter’s Basilica.
And Mr Kalaba has told Journalists in Rome, that the visit of the President is historic and aimed at cementing the relations with the Catholic Church and the Vatican, in particular.
Apart from meeting Pope Francis, President Lungu is also expected to hold bilateral talks with the Food and Agriculture Organization -FAO- and International Fund for Agricultural Development -IFAD.
President Lungu is also expected to meet Zambians living in Italy, before leaving for France, on Saturday afternoon, for another official visit.
In France, President Lungu, who left the country on Wednesday night, will hold meetings with President, Francois Hollande.
Mr Lungu becomes the third Zambian head of state, after the Late Levy Patrick Mwanawasa and Former President, Kenneth Kaunda to visit the Vatican.