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.
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