South African President Jacob Zuma is this week expected in Zambia for a two-day state visit aimed at cementing bilateral ties between the two countries, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The South African president was expected in Zambia on October 12 for the visit aimed at deepening and strengthening existing political, economic and cultural ties, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Lombe Chalwe.

The official visit comes after Zambian President Edgar Lungu undertook a similar visit to South Africa in December last year, he added.

During the visit, the two leaders will hold bilateral talks as well as officially open the OR Tambo National Heritage Site named in honor of late South African anti-apartheid politician and revolutionary Oliver Tambo.

The official was speaking at the start of a Joint Commission of Cooperation meeting by officials from the two countries in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.

The meeting will be officially opened by Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba on Wednesday, October 11 and his South African counterpart Maite-Nkoana Mashabane.

The official said the two countries have enjoyed warm bilateral relations over the years which should be nurtured.

Xolisa Makayi, South Africa’s Deputy Director at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation expressed gratitude over the warm relations between the two countries and commended Zambia for a pivotal role played in the liberation struggle of southern African countries, including South Africa.

Economic cooperation between the two countries have remained steady, with South Africa being one of Zambia’s biggest trading partner in the southern African region.

Currently, there are over 120 South African companies operating in Zambia. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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