Zambia looks to enhance defence ties with Turkey

Zambia’s defence minister praised his country’s bilateral relations with Turkey and voiced hope that defence ties between the two countries would further strengthen in the future.

“The relations between Turkey and Zambia are so far so good,” Davies Chama told Anadolu Agency in Istanbul on the sidelines of the 14th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF’19) being held in the city.

“Heads of states have developed a personal relationship, which has enhanced ties between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Zambia,” he said. 

“Interaction (between the two leaders) has been excelled,” Chama said, referring to the recent state visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Zambian and Zambian leader President Edgar Lungu’s visit to Turkey. 

At the invitation of Erdogan, Zambian President Lungu attended the inauguration ceremony of Erdogan in capital Ankara after he was re-elected as the president last June. 

In July, Erdogan paid a visit to Zambia and met his counterpart in the first-ever official visit by a Turkish president to the East African country. 

During the visit, the two countries signed pacts to boost ties in sectors such as agriculture, stockbreeding fishery, tourism, investment, sports, and diplomacy. 

Defence deals 

“Framework agreements on defence issues between Turkey and Zambia have been finalised now. I hope that during my visit, we should be able to sign those agreements,” Chama stated. 

Speaking of his Monday’s meeting with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, he said “I think we’ve created a personal relationship, his Excellency Minister Akar and myself. I hope that we can strengthen defence cooperation between Zambia and Turkey.” 

The Zambian defines minister hailed the “high-quality” products at the fair and stated that Zambia is looking at ways to “cooperate mutually and develop our defence industry together with the Republic of Turkey.”

Zambian and Turkish connectivity has also grown significantly since Turkish Airlines launched flights from Istanbul to Lusaka last December. Chama, noted the importance of this development and said he hoped the flights could become daily as soon as possible. 

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