Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation Dr. Augustine Mahiga says Malawi and Tanzania are natural allies that must strive to collaborate on issues on mutual interest.
Mahiga was speaking Saturday evening at a cocktail reception hosted by his Malawian counterpart Francis Kasaila in Lilongwe as part of the Fourth Session of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) that Malawi hosted from 3-5 February.
Mahiga said the two countries are ‘only separated by borders but have a lot in common due to intermarriages and trade.’
‘’We are essentially one people who are natural allies with great potential for cooperating across numerous areas bilaterally and regionally for the socio economic benefit and improvement of lives of our two peoples,’’ added Mahiga.
The top Tanzanian diplomat added that to further display the connections between the two countries; he was a product of Malawi who was taught by professors from Malawi at the University of Dar es Salaam where he did his tertiary education.
Mahiga called upon people from the two countries to further cement their ties by collaborating in trade, agriculture and other areas promising that the Tanzanian government will make sure it provide a platform for increased collaboration between the two countries.
On his part Kasaila described relations between the two countries as cordial saying they were improving greatly and collaboration was at all-time high as exhibited by the support Tanzania gave to Malawi’s successful candidate Tujlane Chizumila as judge of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.
Said Kasaila: ‘’We are on the right track on our relations starting from the leadership down to the ordinary people.’’
He said a lot of things have changed in the right direction across trade, immigration, security, transport and health among others saying this is just the beginning as the two countries aim to display that bilateral cooperation can be very successful feeding to broader regional and continental cooperation.
Malawi and Tanzania were meeting for their fourth JPCC after a long time having last held a similar meeting in 2003 in Dar es Salaam.