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EU says Zimbabwe has a chance to close a difficult chapter and start anew

 

The European Union says Zimbabweans have an opportunity to close a difficult chapter in their history and start anew and peaceful electoral campaign and credible elections can set the country on track towards positive change.

A senior official of the EU, Federica Mogherini, said this was a delicate and decisive moment for the country.

“All those who are working for progress in Zimbabwe can count on us in strong cooperation with the United Nations, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community,” Mogherini said.

“It is now up to the new authorities to make the first move. A first and encouraging discussion took place in Addis Ababa last week between the President and Commissioner Mimica. Our next steps will depend entirely on the new government’s actions and its commitment to change.

“We see an entire people hoping for progress and for true democracy. The aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe are our own aspirations and we want to make sure that this opportunity is not wasted and that the mistakes of the past do not happen again.

“But if Zimbabweans embraces the path of change, they can count on the European Union to be with them every step of the way.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections which he said the EU will be free to observe.

Below is the full speech by Mogherini:

Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament plenary session on the situation in Zimbabwe

Bruxelles, 08/02/2018 – 19:07, UNIQUE ID: 180208_19

Strasbourg, 6 February 2018

Mr President, Zimbabwe has a unique opportunity for change. For the first time since independence, a transition of power has begun. We still do not know where this transition will end. Europeans would like, first and foremost, to accompany the people of Zimbabwe on the path of political and economic reform. We want to sustain their hope that real change is possible and help them realise their aspiration to democracy and social justice.

This is our offer to the country: we are ready to intensify our cooperation and be with you in this moment of your history. It will be up to the people of Zimbabwe to decide the new course of the country. Yet I believe it is already quite clear what kind of change the people of Zimbabwe are asking for. Zimbabwe is a country of talented people with good education. They are asking for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. They are asking for an opportunity to prove their talents and put the country’s economy back on track.

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