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ZIMBABWE


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Felex Share Senior Reporter

A high-powered delegation of Belgian companies is headed for Zimbabwe in April to explore the country’s vast investment opportunities, as more European countries express interest in reviving economic co-operation. Presenting his credentials to President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday, newly-appointed Belgian  ambassador Mr Hubert Cooreman said his country was also pushing to have an agreement signed between the two countries in diamond co-operation.Four other newly appointed ambassadors from Turkey, Indonesia, Belarus and Seychelles presented their credentials to President Mugabe.Mr Cooreman said the delegation would be comprised of business people from several sectors of the economy.“We are an important trading partner of Zimbabwe and we hope to remain so,” he said. “I announced to the President that we have an important economic mission of Belgian companies coming to Zimbabwe in the month of April.“I will be happy to accompany these people who are from various economic sectors to come to Zimbabwe to see what can be done in terms of future co-operation.”European countries, most of which have been sitting on the fence, have started warming up to Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities with several

delegations from France, Britain and Denmark coming into the country in the past months. A German mining delegation will be visiting Zimbabwe in April, while the European Union and Government this week signed a $270 million development assistance deal, money which would, for the first time in 13 years, be channelled through Treasury.Mr Cooreman said the relationship between Belgium and Zimbabwe in diamond trade should be strengthened. Belgium was at odds with other EU countries when it pushed for the removal of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation from the sanctions list as it has the world’s largest diamond trading hub, Antwerp.On sanctions, Mr Cooreman said it would take the agreement of all 28 EU-member States to have them removed, though his country was for a positive and constructive approach that will normalise relations. Asked how soon this could be, he responded: “I don’t have crystal ball. Do not try to pinpoint me on a date which I do not have.”Mr Claude Morel, the first Seychelles ambassador to be accredited to Zimbabwe, commended President Mugabe for a “sterling leadership” since he took over the chairmanship of Sadc in August last year.He said according to his President James

Michel, President Mugabe had brought “dynamism” in the region.“We talked about the Sadc solidarity and I also expressed my President’s greetings to President Mugabe and his best wishes for his well being and success in all his undertakings,” Mr Morel said.“We are members of the Sadc family, so we are united in purpose and I did pass the message from the President where he commended him for the sterling leadership since Zimbabwe took the chairmanship last August. Things are moving very fast and the holding of the Extra Ordinary summit here (in April) is a testimony that there is dynamism in Sadc.

”He congratulated President Mugabe on his election as the African Union chairperson, adding “Zimbabwe is there on the international front.”Newly appointed Turkish ambassador Mr Kadir Hidayet Eris said while his country had interests in agriculture and other sectors, they had talked about introducing a direct flight between Zimbabwe and Turkey.“If as the embassy we can manage to bring the Turkish Airlines, it will open the gates from Turkey since we do not have any time differences,” he said.“Istanbul and Harare are not very far, it is a seven-hour-flight, so business markets are operating at the same time. Therefore, it will bring a lot of mutual benefits to both sides.”Indonesia ambassador Mr Stephanus Yuwono said his country was inviting President Mugabe to the 60th Anniversary of the Asia-Africa conference in Indonesia in April to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.“We are waiting for this visit of President Mugabe to Indonesia. We are scheduling this for April and we have sent invitations to other Head of States.”Mr Andrei Molchan of Belarus also presented his credentials.

original sources : http://www.herald.co.zw/5-envoys-present-credentials-to-president/


ZAMBIA


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President Edgar Lungu has urged Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Zambia to enhance bilateral cooperation between their countries and Zambia. Six Ambassadors and High Commissioners from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Lesotho, Thailand, Indonesia and Georgia presented their credentials to President Lungu at State House today. President Lungu said since independence, Zambia has established long standing bilateral relations with other countries around the world and hoped that the presence of High Commissioners and Ambassadors from various countries will further enhance the already existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation. On Zimbabwe, President Lungu said that country and Zambia were close neighbours hence they can share a lot in terms of development. He has meanwhile pledged to support Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe during his tenure as chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. And Zimbabwe’s Ambassador Gertrude Takawira told President Lungu that her country holds the people of Zambia in high esteem because of the role they played during the liberation of Zimbabwe. Ms. Takawira said she will work to broaden and deepen the historic relations between Zambia and Zimbabwe and pledged to promote collaboration between the two countries. Meanwhile, the new Kenyan Ambassador Sophy Kombe delivered congratulatory messages from Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta stating that the people of Zambia have continued to be exemplary in the peaceful manner they conduct elections. Mrs. Kombe stated that the cooperation between Zambia and Kenya has seen trade volumes flourish and hit an amount of about US$180 million while high level visits have also continued to be conducted between the two countries. She said this is evidenced by the separate visits by the President of Kenya and his vice President last year.
Georgia has for the first time sent an ambassador to Zambia who is resident in Pretoria in South Africa. Ambassador Beka Dvali also presented his credentials to President Lungu and pledged to link the two countries in various areas of cooperation. Mr. Dvali stated that his country has a spirit of embracing new friends in the world saying Zambia is one of them. He noted that Zambia and Georgia have unique historical experiences which can be shared and explored for the interest of both countries. President Lungu congratulated and welcomed all the diplomats to Zambia and assured them of his support during their stay in the country. After the presentation of credentials, President Lungu took time to interact with High Commissioners and Ambassadors.

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