Friday, 20 May 2022

WE HAVE COMMON INTERESTS WITH ZIM : EU

THE European Union (EU) is keen to develop relations with Zimbabwe since there are common interests in some sectors, the visiting Chief of Mission of the EU Electoral Follow Up Mission, Mr Elma Bok, said yesterday.

He said this after paying a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, where he was briefed on preparations of the 2023 harmonised elections.

Mr Bok was accompanied by the EU’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Timo Olkkonen and other officials.

“He (Minister Shava) explained to us the progress in preparations of the next elections and getting a level playing field and equal chances to make it a free and fair elections and made remarks about the recommendations we made about the last elections that were sent to your Government and Parliament.

“The EU is very much interested in further development of our relations with Zimbabwe. This country is part of the international society and we have common interests in certain sectors,” Mr Bok said.

Ambassador Shava also met United States Embassy Charge D’ Affairs Mr Thomas Hastings, who is completing his tour of duty next month.

Mr Hastings said Ambassador Shava had explained the need for Zimbabwe and the US to normalise their relations.

“The Minister explained his desire for improved relations with the US and I was happy to hear him say that and for that to happen, meetings like this can be a start, but we need more communication with Government. If you want to engage, you have to sit down and engage and we hope meetings like this could be a start,” said Mr Hastings.

Relations between the US and Zimbabwe have been strained for over two decades after it imposed illegal sanctions on Harare for embarking on the Land Reform Programme meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

But since the coming in of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa in 2017, a policy of engagement and re-engagement with all nations of the world is being championed and several milestones have been achieved.

Zimbabwe says it is open to establishing mutual relations with any nation since it believes it is a friend to everyone and enemy to none. Herald

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