"It has been my cherished dream to meet you" Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said when he met first Republican President Kenneth Kaunda yesterday describing him as a pillar for Zambia's unity.
Mr Kovind said Dr Kaunda is a nation builder and a friend who built Zambia on unity premised on the 'One Zambia One Nation' philosophy.
Mr Kovind said it was amazing that Dr Kaunda presided over and left a united Zambia despite the nation comprising of diverse tribal groupings.
He praised Dr Kaunda for instilling values of love, unity and oneness which helped Zambia sustain warm relations with other countries, including India.
Mr Kovind said this yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Dr Kaunda at his residence at State Lodge.
"The people of India celebrate your achievements. Personally, it was my cherished dream to meet you. I'm happy that dream has been fulfilled," he said.
Mr Kovind who invited Dr Kaunda to visit his country pledged deeper bilateral relations with Zambia which would be anchored on longstanding relations the two countries had enjoyed over the years.
Dr Kaunda urged India to continue collaborating with Zambia so that we could achieve stronger national growth.
He said Mahatma Ghandi's achievements inspired the Zambian liberation struggle hence Zambia still considered Indian a great friend.