By Florence Mwisa– President Rupiah Banda has arrived on Margarita Island in Venezuela to attend the 2nd summit of Heads of State and Government of Africa and South America (ASA) last night.
The plane carrying President Rupiah Banda touched down at Margarita Island Airport at 17:40 hours local time (23:40 hours Zambian time).
The president who is accompanied by First Lady Thandiwe Banda was received at Margarita Island Airport by Venezuela’s Vice President Raman Carrizates, Minister for Public Infrastructure Diesdado Cabello and Minister in Charge of Security Tareck El Aissami.
Transport and Communications Permanent Secretary Dominic Sichinga and other senior Zambian government officials were also on hand to receive the President.
The President later inspected a colourful guard of honour mounted for him.
Mr. Banda is among 51 African and 11 South American Heads of State and government attending the summit which is being held at the Hilton Hotel.
Others at the summit include Secretary Generals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the League of Arab countries, the African Union and the Union of South American nations.
The second ASA summit currently taking place in Margarita Island is aimed at boosting the cooperation of the participant countries facing the food, financial, economic and environmental crisis .
The meeting is also expected to strengthen agreements and plans of action started in 2006 at the first summit held in Abuja, Nigeria.
The summit which is expected to close this afternoon is being held under the theme: ‘Filling gaps, providing opportunities.