President Edgar Lungu has dispelled social media propaganda that Zambia’s relations with the West has been strained and has appealed to Zambians to resist the temptation of peddling falsehoods against their own country.
President Lungu has stated that the national dialogue will remain a Zambian driven process and that he is happy that the Church has decided to work along with the Zambia Center for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID).
President Lungu stated that there is no way Zambia would be a friend of countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America without being a friend to countries such as Zimbabwe or any other country.
Briefing the media shortly before his departure for Zambia from New York where he attended the 73rd United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency the President said there are foreign Missions accredited to Zambia and that countries that had issues with Zambia were free to consult their embassies.
President Lungu said while in New York, he had an opportunity to meet and interact with a number of leaders from other countries as well as high level government officials such as the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor P. Nagy Jr and Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland.
President Lungu while in New York held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, His Excellency, Mr Charles Michel and the Prime Minister of Mauritius Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
President Lungu also held bilateral meeting with a delegation from Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) which was led by its Acting Chief Executive officer Brock Bierman
The Head of State stated that his meetings with other leaders was a sign that other countries were as concerned about Zambia as the country was concerned about them because no country could afford to exist in isolation in this globalized world.
He explained that the perception that Zambia has fallen out of favour from donor countries was nothing but propaganda as the Head of State was able to meet with countries that had wanted to meet him.
The President said it is clear that the world is coming together under the United Nations with cooperation and collaboration on a range of issues such as governance, health, education among others.
“For us, this has been time well spent. We met those countries that wanted to meet us and we chose meetings at the United Nations General Assembly which were relevant to Zambia. The countries we met are our friends and there is no way Zambia would be a friend of one country without being a friend to another because Zambia in agreement on the need to cooperate and collaborate,” His Excellency the President said.
President Lungu said that Zambia is working towards meeting all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without leaving no one behind and that his call to other world leaders to prioritise health, access to clean and safe drinking water, education and infrastructure is meant to improve the lives of citizens across the globe.
And President Lungu has stated that the national dialogue is not going to be hinged on the Commonwealth or any other foreign country because the political leaders in the country understand their needs more than people from outside the country.
President Lungu has since returned home.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya described the 73rd UNGA as a unique platform for individual Member States and the Heads of State had a chance to focus on a number of social and economic issues affecting citizens of the world.
He said President Lungu who emerged as a top health diplomat used the opportunity of attending the General Assembly to articulate to the world on the need to combat Tuberculosis, cervical cancer as well as prevent and control Non-Communicable diseases among other issues.