Malawi, Zimbabwe to maintain cordial relations

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Professor Peter Mutharika has  hailed Malawi’s bilateral relations with Zimbabwe.

Mutharika was speaking to journalists in Lilongwe on Friday when he closed a two-day ninth session of Malawi/Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC).

He said the relationship between the two countries dates back to the colonial era when the two countries were part of the three-nation Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, was the other member of the federation. Malawi was then called Nyasaland whereas Zimbabwe was Southern Rhodesia.

“The holding of this JPCC session is a clear manifestation of the spirit of friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

“Malawi and Zimbabwe have common values, traditions and history. To many Malawians, Zimbabwe is a second home and an important business destination,” Mutharika said.

He asked officials from the two countries to   properly follow up, particularly through monitoring and evaluation, on the agreed areas of cooperation.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the two countries are bound together by a shared history, a common heritage and an intertwined destiny.

“Zimbabweans and Malawians are one and the same people because of the family ties. The excellent political relationship that exists between our two countries should be matched by the same level of relationship in social, cultural and economic spheres,” Mumbengegwi said. He bemoaned economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, saying Malawi is likely to face economic challenges due to sanctions some Western countries and institutions want to force on Malawi.

During the session, the two countries signed memoranda of understanding on Cooperation in Health and on Diplomatic Consultations.—Mana

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