FOREIGN Affairs minister Walter Mzembi has said he is looking forward to engage the country’s Western foes in his push for commercial diplomacy.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Mzembi disclosed this when he officiated at United Nations Day commemorations on Monday which were attended by various Western diplomats.
Zimbabwe has had frosty relations with Western countries owing to disagreements on policies.
“I also intend, going forward, to pursue a thrust on rapprochement, we need to get back together with many of our friends that have gone away,” Mzembi said amid applause from diplomats and guests.
“I also intend to open new frontiers of friendship with countries under the UN ambit and if the Uruguay trip was not anything to you, it meant the marking of the opening of relations to new frontiers of friendship between Zimbabwe and the countries that we are identifying, but even more importantly, I will follow a very robust thrust on commercial diplomacy.”
Mzembi added: “We need to convert our political relations now into economics so that we can uplift the lives of our people.”
The Foreign Affairs minister, who is smarting from the embarrassing World Health Organisation incident where President Robert Mugabe was dethroned as goodwill ambassador four days after his appointment, said it was important to reach out to “old friends”.
“My desire is to keep the flame burning around old friendships and we have many of them, they are manifest in this room,” he said as he referred to his shift on policy thrust.
Mzembi said his appointment as one of the youngest ministers in the portfolio signalled the regeneration of the government.
“It will be marked by my own deployment in this sector, which in itself is very symbolic of the regeneration of our government. I am arguably the youngest Foreign Affairs minister to be deployed in this portfolio and in itself it is a signal from the President on how we are going to engage together,” he said.