Speaking to Sunday News, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo revealed Zimbabwe intends to open an embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This comes at a time when Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced in the 2019 budget presentation last year that Zimbabwe was going to close some embassies. Ncube said this is an austerity measure meant to avoid the accumulation of arrears and evictions of diplomats. He said Zimbabwe’s diplomatic presence is currently imposing annual budgetary support levels of around US$65 million. However, Minister Moyo said the opening of an embassy in the UAE is strategic. Said Moyo:
Already, His Excellency has accepted the deployment of a nominee of the Emirates as an ambassador to Zimbabwe and you may be aware that His Excellency has approved the deployment of somebody as an ambassador to the Abu Dhabi and to the Emirates. It is strategic because it provides other options of survival for Zimbabwe. As you are aware, Zimbabwe is under sanctions and therefore, as we co-operate with the Emirates, this is going to be the basis of this pursuit. This country is a very rich country as you are aware. This is a country which is dependent on oil and gas. It has got quite an excess (of resources) and it is also controlling the global market alternative settlement payment systems, which could be used by Zimbabwe. They are looking at Southern Africa and they are looking at one of the strategic emerging market, which they have identified, and that in Southern Africa, being Zimbabwe, and that is why His Excellency is here.
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Last year President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued several federal decrees to establish the UAE Embassy in Zimbabwe and appointed and promoted members of the diplomatic corps. Mnangagwa was in Abu Dhabi where he held talks with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Sultan Al Nahyan.
More: Sunday News