Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 7th May 2009.

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Photo of Keith Simpson Keith Simpson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the establishment of a contact group for Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We want the new inclusive Government in Zimbabwe to work and to lead to a better future for all Zimbabweans, and we work to keep Zimbabwe high on the agenda at all appropriate international gatherings. There are already effective mechanisms for international discussion and co-ordination on Zimbabwe without the need to establish a formal contact group. An example of this co-ordination is the 20 March 2009 meeting in Washington of all donors, which reconfirmed international willingness to support recovery in Zimbabwe when there is evidence of a genuine commitment by the new Government to political and economic reform.

We also discuss the situation regularly with EU and other partners, including members of the Southern Africa development community. As input to these various discussions, our ambassador in Harare ensures with his colleagues that there is effective monitoring of the political situation. Humanitarian and recovery issues are also monitored and co-ordinated on the ground in Harare with regular meetings of like-minded donors.

It is encouraging that the inclusive Government have also begun their own direct dialogue with major international partners such as the EU and the International Monetary Fund. In the meantime, the international community continues to make a major contribution to supporting the humanitarian welfare of the Zimbabwean people.

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