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MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Zambian counterpart Harry Kalaba will hold talks on Friday to discuss issues of bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and trade fields, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
"The foreign ministers will analyze the status and prospects of further strengthening the traditionally friendly Russian-Zambian relations," the ministry said. "It is planned to conduct an in-depth exchange of views on current international and regional agenda issues, focusing on crisis management in Africa and the Middle East."
The ministers "will discuss issues of strengthening peace and security in Africa in the context of the developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan peace process, the Sahara and Sahel zone and the Horn of Africa, consider the situation in Yemen, Libya and Syria." Lavrov and Kalaba "will also touch upon the issue of Russia’s cooperation with the Pan-African and regional interstate associations, primarily the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)." "Particular attention will be paid to the problems of combating international terrorism, combating cross-border crime and drug trafficking," said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Zambia is Russia’s old and reliable partner in Africa. In October 2014, the two countries marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, which were established immediately after this African state proclaimed independence. "The two sides develop contacts in the political and humanitarian spheres, hold regular consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs," the ministry said. "The bilateral agenda discussion will focus on building partnerships in the trade, economic, investment, scientific and technology spheres, prospects for attracting Russian companies to implementing mutually beneficial projects in Zambia in the fields of energy, mining, transport, infrastructure construction and tourism." "The process of updating the legal framework of Russian-Zambian relations is underway," the Foreign Ministry added.
Among the sub-Saharan African countries, Zambia "is one of the most active users of Russian educational services under the quota of scholarships provided by the Government of Russia for foreign citizens to study in Russian universities." "In 2014-2015 academic year, the number of state scholarships for Zambia was increased to 110," the Foreign Ministry reported. The Russian Centre of Science and Culture, which has a regional status operates in the capital and largest city of Zambia Lusaka.