Zambia’s honorary consul in Istanbul on Sunday said Zambia and Turkey have established mutually beneficial relations that have continued to grow in recent years.

Bulent Goktuna said Turkey regards Zambia as a strategic partner both in the Southern African region and the continent as a whole, according to a statement by the Zambian Embassy in Ankara.

He was speaking at the Zambian Chancery in the Turkish capital before handing over a consignment of 12 computers and a laptop worth 166,000 Turkish Lira ($23,000) to Zambia’s Ambassador to Turkey Joseph Chilengi.

Goktuna said high-level reciprocal visits in July 2018 by Zambia’s President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were a demonstration of the growing bilateral relations.

He expressed happiness that the reciprocal visits culminated into the signing of 12 bilateral agreements on cooperation in various fields.

“I’m confident that we will have a further stronger relationship… many good things are yet to come,” Goktuna said.

He pledged to work with Zambia’s diplomatic mission to improve relations with regional countries such as Azerbaijan.

The Zambian diplomatic mission in Turkey covers Azerbaijan, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Georgia and North Macedonia as countries of extra accreditation on a non-residential basis.

Goktuna vowed to continue supporting the mission in its efforts to actualize Zambia’s foreign policy anchored on economic diplomacy.

Chilengi thanked Goktuna for the donation, and assured that the computers would be put to good use. “I need to acknowledge that this is modern equipment, state-of-the-art, and it will go a long way to support the work of the embassy and the government.”

He commended Goktuna for his long service to Zambia, and unveiled a photo wall display of presidential portraits of the six heads of state that have ruled Zambia since independence in 1964.

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