5 envoys present credentials to President


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 
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.
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