The Tanzanian government that its relationship with Malawi remains vibrant despite the sustained row over which nation owns Lake Malawi.
Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Mahiga made the remarks in Lilongwe at the end of the fourth session of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation.
Mahiga said the lake dispute is sometimes blown out of proportion as if it was the only issue of diplomatic concern between the two countries.
He said Malawi and Tanzania continues to enjoy a healthy cooperation in various areas of mutual interest such as trade, health, education and political governance.
The minister added that Tanzania considers Malawi as a natural ally because of both geographical and cultural proximity.
The Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister indicated that while the border issue is important it should not overshadow the many gains of their diplomatic relations which include free movement of the citizens in the two countries. Mahiga, however, expressed hope that the lake dispute will be resolved soon following the meeting between President Peter Mutharika and the Tanzanian Leader John Magufuli a few days ago in Ethiopia during the AU summit.
Commenting on the issue Malawian Foreign Affairs Minister Francis Kasaila said the meeting of the two Heads of State in Addis Ababa provides fresh impetus to resolve the issue amicably.
At the fourth Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation in Lilongwe the two countries signed an agreement to promote direct flights between the two nations as a way of facilitating inter-trade.
Tanzania claims that the other part of Lake Malawi belongs to them up to an extent that they produced a new map including the part of the lake.