Republic of Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru receives a gift from the visiting Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Georgy Kalamanov at her offices in Harare on July 19, 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mujuru meets Russian business delegation
Friday, 20 July 2012 00:00
Five diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe expressed their countries’ commitment to strengthening relations when they met Vice President Joice Mujuru yesterday. First to meet VP Mujuru at her Munhumutapa Offices was Nigerian ambassador Mr Mamman Nuhu.
Mr Nuhu said he exchanged notes with the Vice President on bilateral relations between Harare and Abuja.
He said the two countries should explore ways of enhancing their relations in areas of economic development, among others.
“We discussed areas of co-operation to see how best we can enhance our existing co-operation,” said Mr Nuhu.
He briefed the VP on security developments in Nigeria following clashes between Government security officials and members of the rebel group Boko Haram.
He commended Zimbabwe as a good tourist destination.
Outgoing US ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Charles Ray also met VP Mujuru to bid her farewell.
Speaking to journalists after their meeting, Mr Ray said he had no capacity to influence the US policy on sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe.
“I am not a fan of measures that are not flexible,” he said. “Those (sanctions) are certain policies that I have no control over. We should focus on the positives and not to be obsessed with negatives.”
Mr Ray said he was hopeful that the sanctions might be removed after Zimbabwe completes the constitution making process and conduct free and fair elections.
VP Mujuru also met Zambian chief diplomat in Zimbabwe Mrs Ndiyoi Mutiti.
Mrs Mutiti said she was paying a courtesy call on the Vice President after presenting her credentials to President Mugabe three months ago.
“Our two countries enjoy cordial relations and as Zambia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, I want to do the best that I can to further our existing relations,” she said.
Mrs Mutiti said Harare and Lusaka were working together to co-host a successful General Assembly meeting of the United Nations Tourism Organisation set for August next year.
The meeting will be held in Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
VP Mujuru also met an 18-member Russian business delegation led by the Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr Georgy Kalamanov.
Speaking during the meeting, VP Mujuru called for strengthening of economic relations between Harare and Moscow.
“Russia is not a friend we can say is just a general friend,” she said.
“To us, we treasure our friendship that dates back to the liberation struggle.
“We are not very happy with the levels of our economic co-operation.
“I know there is mining going on in Penhalonga, but we can do much more than that to extend our trading relations.”
VP Mujuru said Russia could also assist Zimbabwe with knowledge to beneficiate its vast natural resources.
She hailed political relations between the two countries, saying Russia played an important role when it vetoed a resolution by the West to impose UN backed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Mr Kalamanov, who was speaking through an interpreter, said Russia was willing to work with Zimbabwe in many areas of economic development such as energy, mining and agriculture.
He said the two countries should work towards signing a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
“We are quite ready to implement big projects. In my delegation I have representatives of the biggest Russian corporations,” said Mr Kalamanov.
“We want to work with Zimbabwe in areas such as the energy sector, mining and infrastructural development.”