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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, T. Quick, visits Zambia (11 April 2018)
With his visit to Zambia, his meeting with the Greek community there, his talks with Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji, and his meeting with former President Kenneth Kaunda, Deputy Foreign Minister Terens Quick completed his tour of four sub-Saharan countries. A tour that combined Easter with the Greek community with important bilateral meetings, either for the first time, as is the case of Tanzania, or after at some 30 or 40 years, as in the case of Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
In Zambia, which was recently hit by a cholera outbreak, the Deputy Foreign Minister also announced Greece's contribution of humanitarian aid, in the coming days, with 1.5 tons of medical supplies collected by the Ministry of National Defence, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has committed to send by air, via the Greek Embassy in Harare.
The meeting with the Greek community took place at the seat of the Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia, at an event prepared by Archbishop Ioannis of Zambia, on behalf of the Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria and Africa. In his meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorary Consul Michail Kroupnik outlined the issues Greeks in Zambia are facing; primarily strengthening of Greek language learning and the resumption of ERT broadcasting. As he characteristically stressed: "we longed for the day when Greece would be with us again, after so many decades. We are overjoyed. We only want to help our homeland. We ask the minimum of it, chiefly to support us morally with its presence from time to time.”
In his own welcome message, the Archbishop of Zambia conveyed the gratitude of the Patriarch of Alexandria for Mr. Quick’s tour of sub-Saharan countries, and described the Church’s vital missionary and charitable work there.
During his talks with the Foreign Minister of Zambia, Joseph Malanji, Mr. Quick presented the Greek government's new policy pertaining to the African continent, which includes political consultations, business missions, and cooperation in sectors of production, as well as in the cultural and academic fields. At the same time, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs listened with great interest to the observation that Zambia is one of the key countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as the Inter-ministerial Committee of the MCO for cooperation on Defence and Security issues for sub-Saharan Africa, the presidency of which will be assumed by Lusaka next August.
It should be noted that, on the initiative of the Hellenic-Zambian Chamber based in Athens, approximately 20 Greek companies are already successfully doing business in Zambia – with its 17 million citizens – with a significant amount of activity.
Mr. Quick described to the Foreign Minister of Zambia the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, referring to Turkey’s aggressive stance towards Greece and its turbulent relations with the EU, as well as the diplomatic efforts on the part of our country, which, together with the Republic of Cyprus, represents the region’s pillar of stability.
The visit to the home of the country’s first President, Kenneth Kaunda, liberator of Zambia and pioneer of the Non-Aligned Movement, was very emotional. President Kaunda, now 94 years old, reminisced about his cooperation with Andreas Papandreou and Archbishop Makarios within the context of the Movement. He also revealed that he is preparing to publish his autobiography in which he will explain, for the first time, why he always held, and continues to hold, a white kerchief in his left hand during public appearances. Since he lost important pieces of his archive when he was removed from power and placed under house arrest for five years (the Archbishop Ioannis of Zambia presently resides in the same home), he requested that Mr. Quick arrange for a picture of himself with Makarios to be sent from Cyprus, commenting that: "Such a picture must exist in the archives in Nicosia. I would like to add it to the pictures of the rest of my comrades."
On his visit to Zambia, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs was also accompanied by Greek Ambassador George Markantonatos, who is also accredited to that country.