PRESIDENT Sata has called for the establishment of more permanent missions in Zambia to strengthen bilateral relations with other countries.
Mr Sata said Switzerland, Poland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire and Nepal should consider opening permanent missions in Zambia to strengthen the existing bilateral relations.
He said this at State House yesterday when he received letters of credence from 11 high commissioners and ambassadors accredited to Zambia.
The high commissioners and ambassadors were from Namibia, Mozambique, Russia, Switzerland, Poland, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, the Netherlands, Cote d’Ivoire and Nepal.
“All of you who are in here today, I only believe Namibia, Mozambique and Russia, the rest I don’t believe you. You say this here but you don’t stay here. I don’t believe you. All the nice things you have said but you don’t stay here,” President Sata said.
He added: “If what you have said is true, go and tell you governments to open and establish permanent residents here.”
The high commissioners and ambassadors included Leonard Nambahu (Namibia), Jeronimo Rosa Joao Chivavi (Mozambique), Konstantin Kozhanov (Russia), Luciano Lavizzari (Switzerland), Anna Raduchowska-Brochwicz (Poland) and Constance Vingno (Philippines).
Others were Shehan Ratnavale (Sri Lanka), Claude Morel (Seychelles), Gerdine Sneller (Netherlands), Joachim Anvire (Cote d’Ivoire) and Arun Dhital (Nepal).
Those who will be based in Lusaka are Mr Nambahu, Mr Chivavi and Mr Kozhanov.
Mr Lavizzari and Ms Sneller will be based in Harare, Mr Anvire will be based in Kinshasa and the rest will be based in Pretoria.
And speaking before presenting their credentials, the diplomats pledged to work to the best of their abilities in strengthening the existing relations between their countries and Zambia.
Mr Nambahu said there is no doubt that Zambia’s economic, social and political growth is for the benefit of the southern African region.
Mr Chivavi said his Government is determined to work with the Zambian government in strengthening infrastructure development in transport and communication.
Mr Kozhanov said Russia will continue offering scholarships to Zambians as one way of helping the country with well-informed technocrats.
Mr Lavizzari said he is impressed with the progress Zambia has made in the political, social and economic development.
Ms Sneller said Zambia has a strong democratic foundation which can be seen from the 2011 general elections and that the Netherlands will continue to support Zambia’s key economic sectors.
Mr Anvire commended President Sata for promoting peace and reconciliation.
Ms Raduchowska-Brochwicz said Poland will continue to support Zambia’s democratisation policies and economic agenda.
Mr Vingno said he has been tasked to strengthen the relations with Zambia and that he will ensure he meets the set goals of bringing his country and Zambia closer.
Mr Ratnavale said he looks forward to exploring development and the economic agenda Zambia has put in place and see how the two countries can learn from each another.
Mr Morel said Zambia and Seychelles share a lot in tourism, art and culture as well as trade and investment and that he will ensure the two countries benefit from each other.
Mr Dhital said Zambia’s peace and democracy has been a beacon for many other countries and that he is privileged to be an ambassador to Zambia.