Saturday, May 13, 2006

Zim to EU: Let's normalize relations


Some in the country remain sceptical, though, of Mugabe’s reconciliation statements. In apparent reference to the Head of the European Commission delegation in Harare, Xavier Marchal, Bimha said: "Your Excellency, Zimbabwe is always ready to engage the European Union as long as such dialogue is carried out with the mutual understanding and appreciation of each others views. Zimbabwe has set no preconditions, no benchmarks."

Continues Bimha: "We only wish to be engaged in a manner that respects the sovereignty of the people of Zimbabwe. If we approach our engagement in this particular context, I am sure that we will make progress."Mugabe has for a long time been refusing food aid for Zimbabweans saying the country could feed its own people but Bimha acknowledges and salutes the EU for social and humanitarian support given to the people of Zimbabwe.

This year an estimated four million people will require food aid to survive. "Zimbabwe and the EU share a very long relationship. That relationship was strong when Zimbabweans were under the yoke of colonial domination and remained equally strong after the attainment of independence. The EU was active in many programmes which helped the new and independent state of Zimbabwe establish itself as an important actor in the region, on the continent and beyond. We will always remain grateful for that assistance.”......

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