President Hakainde Hichilema has embarked on a significant 3-day state visit to Israel, following an invitation from Israeli President Isaac Herzog. The presidential plane touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport at 07:00 hours today, marking the beginning of this momentous diplomatic engagement.
Accompanied by First Lady Mutinta Hichilema, President Hichilema was warmly received by Gil Haskel, Chief of State Protocol, upon his arrival in Tel Aviv.
One of the highlights of President Hichilema’s visit is his planned visit to the Old City of Jerusalem, where he will partake in a guided tour. The Old City holds immense historical and religious significance, as it is home to revered sites associated with the kings and prophets of the Old Testament.
Later in the day, President Hichilema is scheduled to attend a meeting on creating an ecosystem for innovation, where the Israeli model will be discussed. The venue for this important gathering is the Ambassadors Garden Hall at the King David Hotel. Following the meeting, he will be hosted for a television interview by Channel 24, providing an opportunity to share his perspectives on various issues of mutual interest between Zambia and Israel.
In the evening, President Hichilema is expected to have side meetings, fostering bilateral discussions and exploring areas of cooperation between the two nations.
President Hichilema’s visit to Israel is focused on enhancing diplomatic ties and exploring opportunities for collaboration in various sectors. The State Visit symbolizes a commitment to strengthen friendship and cooperation between Zambia and Israel.
The President’s itinerary also includes a pilgrimage to significant religious sites in Jerusalem. He expressed deep reverence during his visit to the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, a place of prayer and devotion for millions of pilgrims from diverse faiths. Additionally, he paid his respects at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a site of great significance to Christians as it represents the crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In a heartfelt message, President Hichilema emphasized the importance of social justice, peace, and unity – values rooted in Christianity, which holds a special place in the hearts of Zambians. He extended gratitude to the people of Zambia for their unwavering support and reiterated his commitment to promoting goodwill and compassion in the nation.
President Hichilema expressed his hope for peace in Jerusalem, quoting Psalm 122:6,7, “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”