President Lazarus Chakwera has said his government's public castor reforms program being championed by Vice-President Saulos Chilima will be extended to the country's foreign missions, accounding that Malawi will establish a diplomatic mission with Israel in Jerusalem.
In his maiden State of the Nation address (Sona) at Parliament in Lilongwe, Chakwera--who was elected in a court-sanctioned June 23 presidential election-- said his administration's focus on the world stage will be reforming the Foreign Affairs Ministry Headquarters and its Missions abroad.
Chakwera said he wants Malawi embassies to be "able to deliver on the ambitious objectives of promoting Malawi's national interests globally,"
The President announced: "The reforms will also include a review of our diplomatic presence, including our resolve to have new diplomatic missions in Lagos, Nigeria and Jerusalem, Israel. I will be sharing more details about this in the near future."
Malawi does not currently have an embassy in Israel while Israel's ambassador to Malawi operates from Nairobi, Kenya where he is also the ambassador.
Meanwhile, Malawian church leader Zacc Kawalala has welcomed the move to have new diplomatic mission in Isarel.
"New Diplomatic Mission in Jerusalem, Israel!!! (Psalm 122:6) Dancing all the way. #Praying4Malawi," he wrote in a post on social media.
Meanwhile, Chakwera said Malawi will continue pursuing vibrant engagement with its immediate neighbors, and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) at the global level.
"At the regional level, our focus is to integrate within the framework of SADC in the fields of trade and industry and in the maintenance of peace and security," he said.
Chakwera said his election as SADC incoming chairperson during the recently held meeting of SADC Heads of State and Government aligns with Malawi priorities in international relations.
"We also intend to fully integrate ourselves within the African Union Agenda 2063, including such related programmes as the African Continental Free Trade Area, while also helping stabilize the region by participating in UN Peace Keeping Missions like the one our brave soldiers are part of in the Democratic Republic of Congo," he said.