European Union backs EL’s go-ahead to Catholic bishops to initiate dialogue with HH, says Finnish ambassador

FINNISH Ambassador to Zambia Timo Olkkonen has said it is a good move by President Edgar Lungu to give the Catholic bishops a go-ahead to discuss with United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema matters of dialogue between the two political leaders.
Mr Olkkonen said dialogue should be promoted, and that talks between the Government and other political players was what the European Union had always been keen on.
“Taking a move by his Excellency, President Lungu to allow the Catholic bishops to mediate in order to find common ground for Zambia, is a good move,” Mr Olkkonen said in an interview.
On Friday, President Lungu gave a delegation of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) a go-ahead to speak with the incarcerated UPND leader on matters of dialogue between the two political parties.
The ZCCB delegation told President Lungu that as a church, it needed to continue working with the Government for the good of the people.
The bishops said it was also important for the President to pursue a path of reconciliation with the UPND.
Mr Olkkonen said dialogue was key to maintaining Zambia as a country that was calm, peaceful and an example to other African countries.

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