LUNGU PLEDGES MORE TIME FOR DIALOGUE

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By AARON CHIYANZO

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has pledged to avail himself more for dialogue this year so that all differences can be ironed out as the country moves towards the 2021 general elections.

President Lungu reiterated that 2019 would be a year of consolidation of dialogue so that in 2021 the nation could hold an election which would be easily acceptable.

The President said this when he met European heads of mission to Zambia, led by the ambassador of the European Union (EU) Alessandro Mariani at State House yesterday. Mr Lungu assured the EU that Zambia would be an example to the region in terms of peace and security with the upcoming dialogue being organised by the Church.

He said that dialogue should be an ongoing process and was all about listening to resolve issues as nothing was perfect.

President Lungu was confident that the upcoming dialogue would be fruitful, especially with the support of cooperating partners.

He thanked the EU for its continued support, saying that Zambia had reached this far because of the support of partners.“Dialogue should be a way of life. Dialogue is about listening, you listen more to what your friends are saying then you get the benefits and wisdom.

“So am available as a player, we are game. Let’s approach this progressively, there is nothing perfect, we have our weaknesses.

“That’s why am saying this year 2019 will a year of consolidation of dialogue so that come elections in 2021, we will have a process which will be credible, acceptable and continue being an example in the region,” said President Lungu.

President Lungu, who is the chairman for the SADC organ on politics, defence and security said he hoped the results in the Presidential polls in Congo DR would be a reflection of the will of the people.

And Mr Mariani said that the EU appreciated the role of Zambia in ensuring peace and security.

He said that the EU was supportive of Zambia’s policies and grateful for the cooperation with the union.

Mr Mariani hailed the good relations that had existed between Zambia and the EU, saying that they were fulfilled by all parties.

Earlier, President Lungu met the German federal minister for economic cooperation and development, Gerd Muller and his delegation.

He also met the Swiss federal councillor and head of department for foreign affairs, Ignazio Cassis and his delegation.

Mr Cassis urged President Lungu to dialogue with Swiss investors in Zambia in case of any setbacks.

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