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Sweden may resume bilateral aid to Zim

Staff Writer

SWEDEN could soon normalise bilateral relations with Zimbabwe if its parliament, the Riksdag, adopts a new policy on equitable global development.



rial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Sweden was the first Western country to suspend bilateral cooperation with the government in 2001 to protest the systematic political repression and human rights abuses.The Swedish Foreign Affairs ministry this week said the new policy proposals aim to contribute to equitable global development.


“We cannot give support with one hand while building up obstacles with the other, all policies must aim in the same direction,” Carin Jamtin, Minister for International Development Cooperation, said in a statement this week.


“The key to success in the fight against poverty is that all policies, not just development assistance, contribute to equitable development.”


If Sweden resumes bilateral aid to Zimbabwe, the decision would be helpful to the poor in view of current official attempts to curtail non-governmental organisations’ activities which have bailed out thousands from hunger and abject poverty.


Swedish ambassador to Zimbabwe, Kristina Svensson, said her country would not abandon the people of this country. She said the move shift by her embassy from town to spacious offices in Avondale was proof that her country wanted to continue working with the people of Zimbabwe.


“I sincerely hope that we soon will be back to a normalised relationship where our two governments cooperate and we can intensify our support to Zimbabwe,” said Svensson.


“My government will not abandon the people of Zimbabwe. The newly renovated chancery in Avondale is proof of this.”


Sweden and other 24 European Union (EU) countries have imposed targeted sanctions against President Robert Mugabe, government and ruling Zanu PF officials for political repression and human rights violations.


The sanctions were initially imposed in 2002 by the 15 EU members before they were also adopted by the new 10 nations in the grouping. The United States, Canada and Switzerland have also imposed smart sanctions against Harare. This has resulted in curtailed bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and Western countries.

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