Posted by: africanpressorganization | 27 March 2013

FCO Minister statement on Friends of Zimbabwe meeting


FCO Minister statement on Friends of Zimbabwe meeting


LONDON, United-Kingdom, March 27, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ International donor countries meet to discuss issues around upcoming elections at Friends of Zimbabwe meeting.


The international Friends of Zimbabwe group met today in London. Members representing international donor countries discussed a range of issues relating to Zimbabwe’s coming elections and potential future cooperation. The group also welcomed participation from Ministers representing all parties of Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government as well as representatives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and civil society groups.


Speaking after the event, Minister Mark Simmonds said;


“The UK is pleased to have hosted the Friends of Zimbabwe group for discussions today. 2013 is a crucial year for Zimbabwe and it is very important that the international community come together to consider how we can best support SADC and Zimbabwe’s political parties to ensure elections are free and fair.


“We were very pleased to welcome participants from all parties to the Global Political Agreement and representatives from SADC. In looking to the future it is necessary for us to hear all points of view and to make clear that we would work with any government that was formed with a genuine democratic mandate from the Zimbabwean people. It is also of clear importance that where we have concerns we make them known to all parties with one united voice. The coming months will be pivotal and I hope that today’s dialogue will be able to continue.”


Notes to Editors:


•    Friends of Zimbabwe is an informal meeting of major international donors to Zimbabwe. The group meets annually to facilitate informal coordination of the international approach to Zimbabwe. This year’s event was an opportunity for the international community to hear from the Zimbabwean parties and the Southern Africa Development Community in the run up to Zimbabwe’s elections. It was also a chance to consider what we can do together to support the process for free and fair elections. Given this is a particularly important year for Zimbabwe, with elections on the horizon, the UK was happy to offer to host the meeting and welcome the participation of all parties to the Zimbabwean government.


•    The group includes EU Member States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, the US, the European Commission (EC), the EU Council Secretariat. Representatives from the UN, IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank attend in an observer role. In addition, given the proximity to elections, this year we invited representatives from all three of Zimbabwe’s political parties, and the Southern African Development Community, to attend.


•    In recent years, Friends of Zimbabwe meetings have been hosted by Oslo (2010), Copenhagen (2010), the EU (in Brussels, 2011), the African Development Bank (in Tunis, 23 March 2012) and Tokyo (2012).



United Kingdom – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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