Harare, (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa returned home on Friday from the United Nations General Assembly in New York where he held several bilateral meetings with other world leaders in addition to addressing the world body.
Speaking to reporters on arrival, Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo – who was part of the Zimbabwe delegation – said the country had advanced it’s engagement and re-engagement agenda through the series of meetings.
President Mnangagwa held on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
The country started engaging and re-engaging other nations around the world since President Mnangagwa took office in 2017 to end Zimbabwe’s Western-led isolation.
The United States and the European Union have ochestrated a campaign to diplomatically isolate Zimbabwe for over twenty years, in addition to slapping it with sanctions, over differences on land reforms.
The government’s engagement and re-engagement policy is meant to end the isolation and re-integrate the country back into the global family of nations.
Moyo said the Zimbabwe delegation, President Mnangagwa in particular, held a series of bilateral side meetings with other world leaders and top business executives to press it’s case for sanctions removal and present investment opportunities available in the country.
Among these were over 100 American corporate leaders who ‘were keen to come and explore opportunities in this country.’
“We managed to convince the world that Zimbabwe was now a going concern characterized by potential big returns on investment,” he said, referring to the world’s previous view that the country was an economic basket case.
Even US corporate leaders, whose country has been particularly hardline on Zimbabwe, were mesmerized by the investment potential in the country, said Moyo.
“A lot of the Americans were questioning why sanctions are still there,’ he said.
Moyo said the delegation’s strategy was essentially two-pronged, to re-engage to break the country’s isolation and to attract investment, and it succeeded on both fronts.
On the political front, for instance, President Mnangagwa held talks with Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland who expressed optimism about Zimbabwe’s re-admission into the group of mainly former British colonies.
Zimbabwe pulled out of the club in 2002 over sharp differences on the land reforms.
He also had talks with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, among other leaders, pressing Zimbabwe’s wish to open a new page in relations.
“It has been again one of the most successful engagements,” Moyo said.