Senegal’s president keen for Zim-EU reconciliation

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade left Harare on Thursday after holding talks with President Robert Mugabe in which he tried to med broken relations between Harare and London, reports AFP.

Wade said he had come to Zimbabwe on his own initiative in a bid to resolve the impasse between Mugabe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF and the UK government.

Wade’s attempts at reconciliation come on the back of mediation efforts by South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki who was earlier this mandated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help resolve the political blockage that had developed between Mugabe’s government and the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Wade, in what could be seen as a subtle swipe at President Mbeki’s “quiet diplomacy” over the years, said “In over 10 year, we have seen little progress in resolving the struggle that Zimbabwe has had with Europe, especially the United Kingdom, despite the earnest and noble efforts of South African President Thabo Mbeki.”

Wade conceded that “no one country alone can resolve international tensions.

“We must understand that no single nation can help Zimbabwe. Africa has not done enough to come to the assistance of this nation. I come to Harare as an individual leader, but with a larger sense of African responsibility,” Wade said.

 Wade said he thought it important that African leaders engage in dialogue with European leaders before the EU-Africa summit in Lisbon next month.

Portugal which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has been scrambling to ensure that Mugabe’s presence at the summit does not eclipse the chance for stronger links between the EU and Africa.

Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has vowed that he will not attend the summit if Mugabe attends. 

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