President Hakainde Hichilema undertook a State Visit to the State of Israel from 31st July to 2nd August 2023, at the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel.
The President was accompanied by the First Lady, Mrs. Mutinta Hichilema. The visit not only marked a significant milestone towards strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Zambia and Israel but it also served to reinforce the enduring alliance grounded in shared values and mutual aspirations for prosperity between the two nations.
During the visit, President Hichilema held talks with His Excellency President Herzog and His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, as well as other high-ranking officials on pertinent bilateral and regional issues, prioritising peace, security, and peace-building initiatives. A key highlight of the visit was the signing of the Zambia–Israel General Framework Agreement of Cooperation, jointly presided over by President Hichilema and President Herzog. This broad-based agreement is designed to pave the way for a multifaceted collaboration between the two countries.
The President also opened the Zambia–Israel Business Forum under the theme “Agro-Business Opportunities to Guarantee Food Security”.
As part of the engagements lined up, the President and the First Lady visited the Holy Sites of the Old City of Jerusalem. The President later visited the Theodor Herzl’s Grave as well as the Holocaust Museum, where he paid his respects. President Hichilema also planted an olive tree at the Grove of Nations in the Jerusalem Forest, a symbolic gesture that represents life and peace. The Grove of Nations is a part of the Olive Tree Route, an initiative led by UNESCO and the Council of Europe to establish An Olive Tree Route around the Mediterranean basin as an expression of the common desire for peace and co-existence.
President Hichilema’s visit offered a platform to further reinforce the strong and growing ties between Zambia and Israel, while exploring fresh avenues for further partnership in areas such as trade, technology, renewable energy, desert agriculture techniques, healthcare, and education. President Hichilema returned to Zambia on 3rd August, 2023.