Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba says President Edgar Lungu is diplomat number one and there are trips that he cannot delegate to anyone because of their nature.
Mr Kalaba said Presidential trips had opened up Zambia to the international community describing them as beneficial.
He said there were two types of engagements that the President undertakes which were bilateral called by fellow Presidents and he cannot delegate his Foreign Affairs minister or foreign diplomats to attend.
“It would have been absurd for instance for the President to delegate the minister of Foreign Affairs to go and attend to President John Magufuli of Tanzania when his colleague wanted him, same applies to South Africa,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said in the same manner the President could not delegate for the Southern African Development Community and African Union summits.
He said other engagements were those of international or multilateral nature where the President was required to attend and cannot delegate a minister to go and engage with heads of States because he had to go a make a case for Zambia.
Mr Kalaba wondered as to what some sections of society imply when they say Zambia should interact with the international community and yet they do not want President Lungu to travel.
“You need to have a good relation with other countries for them to support you and you have to in good books with others through interaction,” he said.
The Foreign Affairs Minister also said currently Zambia was campaigning with other African countries for the two positions where it is fielding two candidates at the upcoming January, 2017, AU elective summit
These are Dr Austin Sichinga, a former Special Assistant to the President for Economics during President Rupiah Banda’s Presidency and Ambassador Albert Muchanga the current Permanent Secretary in the Vice President’s office.
“These two positions we are counting on our friends with whom we have built good relations,” he says.
He also said Zambia was going to host an African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council and President Lungu will have to host the summit and cannot delegate.
Mr Kalaba was speaking on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s Kwacha Good Morning Zambia yesterday on the importance of Presidential trips.
He also said his ministry has a very good rapport with the media and has an open door policy that promotes interaction on various fora.