Zimbabwe's recovery must be completed with speed

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Harare - In order for Zimbabwe to successfully recover, the Global Political Agreement must be implemented without any delay, says President Jacob Zuma.

The President was speaking at the conclusion of his two-day official visit to Zimbabwe at the opening of the Harare Agricultural Society Show on Friday.

He said the Global Political Agreement, signed in September last year, aimed at resolving long-running political tensions in the country, needed to move with speed and progress.

President Zuma reiterated that there were clear signs that Zimbabwe was on the road to recovery, however the challenge "we now face is to ensure that the country's recovery is completed in the shortest space of time.

"For this to happen, it is absolutely necessary that the Global Political Agreement be fully implemented without delay."

As part of efforts to encourage this process, President Zuma met with the signatories to the agreement in his capacity as Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairperson.

In meetings on Thursday night and Friday morning, the parties discussed the critical issues relating to its implementation.

The parties agreed on the need to speed up implementation and to find solutions to the current points of disagreement.

The important factor is that there was commitment among all parties, which will make the movement forward possible. This is important, the President said, for restoring confidence in the country and the economy.

"The achievement of an effective recovery is also dependent on the removal of sanctions and other measures that hold back economic development," he said.

President Zuma used the opportunity of opening the agricultural show to call on the international community to remove any remaining hindrances to Zimbabwe's recovery.

At the same time, he called on all parties in Zimbabwe to work together to remove any remaining obstacles to the implementation of the agreement.

President Zuma further added that South Africa has always stood with Zimbabwe in the search for a solution to the challenges facing the country, and remains committed to working with partners in Zimbabwe and the region to encourage further progress.

This visit takes place ahead of the SADC summit on 7-8 September in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This will provide an opportunity to review progress in the implementation of the agreement, and for the countries of Southern Africa to reaffirm their commitment to assisting Zimbabwe.

President Zuma expressed his confidence that this visit had served to strengthen even further the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

"Most importantly, it is our wish that it should help take forward the implementation of the Global Political Agreement", President Zuma said.