Zimbabwe and Botswana have taken the traditional long friendship and close ties to a higher level by holding the inaugural Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission in harare this Thursday with the two countries pledging to work towards economic development that will further improve the lives of ordinary people in the two countries.

Both leaders stressed the need for expeditious and effective implementation of development projects to bring tangible results to the people.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the new chapter of partnership between Zimbabwe and Botswana which was reinvigorated under the Second Republic provides immense potential for closer cooperation in different economic spheres in the public and private sectors.

He said new cooperation projects between Zimbabwe and Botswana await in trade promotion, investment in mining, agriculture environment, health and other sectors.

He singled out cross border investments and joint ventures and other linkages and specifically the importance of the proposed railway line between Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique – the ponta techobanine inter-regional heavy haul railway projects.

President Mnangagwa stressed the importance of peace and security, national dialogue and the strengthening of democratic institutions for the good of the two countries.

Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi assured President Mnangagwa of Botswana’s support economic development and in the fight against the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the European Union and the United States.

He was optimistic the sluggish implementation that dented the past would not be allowed to creep into the new strategic partnership.

He pledged to continue working with Zimbabwe and President Mnangagwa for the good of the people of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

He called for the deepening of the new ties through cooperation in agriculture, trade and investment, defence and security among others.

President Masisi was accompanied by a delegation of six ministers from defence and security, mines and minerals, and foreign affairs, among others.

On the Zimbabwean side were Ministers Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, Monica Mutsvangwa, Jorum Gumbo, Mthuli Ncube, Mangaliso Ndlovu and some deputy ministers who included Energy Mutodi.