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Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent proposals the UK has put forward to resolve the political situation in Zimbabwe; and what plans he has to place the situation in Zimbabwe on the formal agenda of the UN Security Council. (253951)

On 30 January, the MDC announced the acceptance of the power sharing accord brokered at the SADC summit on 26 January. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary issued a statement in response on 30 January.

We have always said that we can not see how a Government who include Mugabe can work. But we have also been clear that it is up to Zimbabweans to decide their own future. Our hope is that the parties can make the agreed work. We will judge the new Government on their actions. In common with other members of the international community, we will be looking for the Government to demonstrate, through their actions, a commitment to reform.

We would expect, in the coming days and weeks, to see the release of political prisoners, an immediate end to political violence and intimidation, the repeal of repressive legislation, the appointment of a credible finance team, and a clear roadmap to the next national elections. Our formal engagement, including the provision of donor support and the continuation of our efforts to encourage increased UN engagement, will depend on how the Government meet these expectations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Government have had with the new unity government of Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. (255651)

The new unity Government were sworn in on 13 February 2009. Our engagement with the new Government, including the provision of donor support, will be dependent on the how the new Government demonstrate, through their actions, a commitment to change and reform.