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Turkey said on Tuesday that it was keen to strengthen its bilateral relations with Zambia because it perceives the southern African nation as an important partner on the African continent.

Zehra Zumrut Selcuk, Turkey’s minister of labour, social services and family, said the two countries have already displayed mutual willingness to further improve bilateral relations through various initiatives such as high-level reciprocal visits.

In remarks made when she held bilateral talks with Zambia’s ambassador to Turkey Joseph Chilengi, the Turkish minister said the relations between the two countries have in the recent past gained momentum, a situation that made Turkey to open a Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) office in Zambia, according to a release.

She further said the inaugural Turkey-Zambia Joint Economic Commission will be held in Zambia next year to discuss various aspects of bilateral cooperation including trade and investment between the two countries.

According to her, Turkish total investment in Zambia currently stands at 6.7 million U.S. dollars and added that the signing of an agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investments in July last year will contribute considerably to the relation.

On his part, the Zambian envoy hailed the warm relations that have existed between the two countries.

He said the relations between the two countries have continued to grow from strength to strength since the reciprocal opening of diplomatic missions in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

“This strategic partnership is based on mutual respect and transparency for mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries. This is reflected in the 12 cooperation agreements signed in various sectors such as diplomacy, tourism, education, trade and investment, security, sports and media,” he said.

He urged the Turkish private sector to take advantage of the existing investment opportunities in Zambia’s key economic sectors such as energy, construction, agriculture, and mining, among others. Enditem

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