Sunday, June 10, 2007

Zim welcomes SADC approach

Zim welcomes SADC approach
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare
Sunday June 10, 2007 [04:00]

ZIMBABAWE has said only the SADC approach to resolving the problems in that country will work. Secretary for foreign Affairs ambassador Joey Bimha said the SADC approach was the only sure way to end the country’s current political, economic and socio-economic problems, which the government would fully support and ensure success. He was speaking at a ceremony marking the Swedish national day at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sten Rylander in Chisipite, Harare.

“It is the only positive route to ending the problems Zimbabwe is facing. When it was hatched in Dar-es-Salaam, it was not meant to be a potpourri from which one could choose,” Ambassador Bimha said.

“Rest assured that the government of Zimbabwe, too, is committed to this noble regional initiative, as it is a potentially effective avenue through which the challenges facing Zimbabwe can be resolved.”

He said he was happy that Sweden was one of the European countries in full support of the SADC approach.

“While we have fundamental differences between Zimbabwe and Sweden we hope our good relations will form the foundation of resolving these problems,” he said.

At the same occasion, Ambassador Rylander, who arrived in Harare two years ago, said Sweden was fully supporting the dialogue process, which has now started as a result of the SADC initiative in Dar-es-Salaam.

“It is our hope and firm belief that the region, primarily through South Africa and President Thabo Mbeki, will be able to assist the Zimbabwean parties come together to promote the broad national interests of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Ambassador Rylander said there were several challenges to be overcome and questions to be dealt with in a limited period of time. He said if the crucial issues were dealt with, he was hopeful that Zimbabwe would soon be back on a normal track.

“A motivating factor should be the commitment and willingness that exists among us in the international donor community to assist positively in such a constructive process.

Ambassador Rylander said Zimbabwe could re-emerge as a strong force in SADC and Southern Africa, constructively exploiting the many potential win-win situations that are available.

The SADC Troika last month mandated South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate in resolving the stalemate in Zimbabwe. SADC also mandated its secretary Dr Thomaz Salomao to undertake an economic audit in the country to create a basis for which the regional bloc could help Zimbabwe come out of its challenges.

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