SCOTLAND'S International Development Minister has said he wants to deepen existing relationships with Zambia as he arrives in the country with the Queen's Baton ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Humza Yousaf is making the first visit to the country by a Scottish Government Minister.

He accompanied the Baton on its flight from Malawi, as part of its 288- day journey around all 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

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He saw the baton off on its relay through Lusaka alongside Zambian Vice-President Guy Scott, whose parents were both from Glasgow.

Mr Yousaf said: "The arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay symbolises Zambia and Scotland's shared history, and our shared future. Our relationship with Zambia goes back many years, to the days when David Livingstone was the first European to see the Victoria Falls. The run-up to the ­Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games give us an unrivalled opportunity to deepen existing relationships with Zambia."

Zambia is one of the ­priority countries under the Scottish Government's ­International Development Programme, which has funded food security projects worth £2.7 million there through the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.