‘Dialogue critical for Zim’s revival’

Speaking at the Swedish Day commemorations on Tuesday, the ambassador said attempts to “build bridges” between Zimbabwe and the European Union should continue to bring the country out of the hardships it is going through. Change and tolerance on the part of all parties involved were vital elements to thaw relations between the country and the international community, he said. Tolerance was especially essential when dealing with issues of differences of opinion as a way to solve major national issues. “Dialogue, change and tolerance can come a long way to solve the problems and promote progress in Zimbabwe,” he said. Responding to the ambassador, Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Joey Bimha, also reiterated the need to restore good relations between Zimbabwe and Sweden. “The very strong relationship which we had in the past will help in the building of bridges between the two countries,” he said. It was the role of ambassadors to try and help mend relations between their country of origin and the host country, he said. While change was important in any society, “the desire to change has to come from both sides which will achieve a win-win situation,” Bimha said. He applauded the role, which Rylander was playing in promoting dialogue between Zimbabwe and Sweden as well as with the rest of the European Union. Ambassador Rylander began his tour of duty in Zimbabwe in February this year and has since then been calling for the restoration of good relations between Zimbabwe and the rest of the international community, especially the EU and the United States. Zimbabwe has been on the receiving end of international media criticism since 2000 when the government embarked on the land reform programme aimed at correcting land imbalances created during the colonial era. ‘ New Ziana.

June 2006
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