Denmark advocates African solution to Zimbabwe crisis

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pretoria - An African solution must be found to the economic, political and social crisis in Zimbabwe, says Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller.

"It is an African problem and we hope that there will be an African solution," the minister said at the Union Buildings on Friday.

"We know of the Southern African Development Community [SADC] meeting on Monday and we hope that SADC will use its influence to make sure a solution to the political impasse is found," he said.

Mr Moller highlighted that Denmark supported the European Union's (EU) freezing of President Robert Mugabe's assets, as well as the travel and visa ban enforced on the top echelon of the ruling ZANU-PF.

The Danish foreign minister was speaking after the signing of a Declaration of Intent on Bilateral Consultations with Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The declaration creates a platform for South Africa and Denmark to meet at least once a year to discuss issues of global, regional and domestic importance.

Dr Dlamini Zuma said she and her counterpart discussed a range of issues behind closed doors ranging from the political and economic situation in South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iran, and the new United States administration.

Both ministers highlighted the significance of a climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, with Mr Moller noting that South Africa needs to be an active and constructive player at the conference to see to it that Africa's demands are met.

Mr Moller said South Africa has made tremendous progress since 1994 and that fantastic work has been done.

Democracy had really taken root in South Africa, he said, adding how admirable it was that South Africa was so actively involved in regional peace and reconstruction initiatives across the continent and abroad.

Answering a question on whether the extra-ordinary SADC summit on Monday would end in a solution having been found to the political deadlock in Zimbabwe, Dr Dlamini Zuma explained that it was unfortunately not in the hands of SADC, but with the three leaders in Zimbabwe.

Minister Dlamini Zuma ended by saying she hoped all three political leaders from Zimbabwe would participate in the SADC-called summit on Monday.

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