Zimbabwe - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:21 am on 8th September 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 11:21 am, 8th September 2016

If the noble Baroness is alluding to the reference by the noble Lord, Lord Oates, to the visit by the noble Lord, Lord Mandelson, I should make it clear that the noble Lord visited Zimbabwe in a personal capacity in February of this year. He had been in a private engagement in South Africa. He simply asked the British Government if he could be helpful in promoting their objectives in Zimbabwe and, given his experience, our Government said that he could reinforce the case for reform, which I think is what we all want to see. To that end, the British embassy in Harare facilitated the meeting, which was attended by the British ambassador. It was constructive and focused on the need for economic and rule-of-law forms. That is precisely the kind of dialogue that is essential if we are to see any progress made.