Foreign relations of Zimbabwe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Coat of arms of Zimbabwe.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Zimbabwe
See also

The foreign relations of Zimbabwe emphasize a close relationship with the People's Republic of China[1] and South Africa, nations with close economic ties to Zimbabwe.

People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union[edit]

The People's Republic of China supported Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union while the Soviet Union supported Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union, competing militant Marxist organizations that sought an end to Rhodesia and the establishment of a one-party Communist state in its place.[1] The PRC's initial investment in Mugabe has continued. China has invested more in Zimbabwe than any other nation with 35 companies spending over $600 million USD.[2] The close economic relationship between Zimbabwe and China is partly driven by sanctions imposed by Western nations in response to the Zimbabwean government's continued human rights abuses.[3]

Li Ke, China's Vice-Minister for Economic Relations, visited Zimbabwe for 13 days in September 1980. Mugabe visited China on 13 October and met with Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang.[4]

In June or July 2006 the Zimbabwean government secretly bought Chinese rifles, bullets, anti-riot gear and other military equipment in return for 30 tons of ivory, violating the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species which forbids the sale of ivory. Interpol and CITES, an ivory-watchdog organization, are investigating the sale.[5] The Zimbabwean government bought six military aircraft from China in 2005 and another six aircraft from three Chinese firms on 23 August 2006.[6] Two days later the Zimbabwe National Army said it bought 127 trucks for $1.2 million.[7]

The Chinese government donated farm machinery worth $25 million to Zimbabwe on 21 April, including 424 tractors and 50 trucks, as part of a $58 million loan to the Zimbabwean government. The Mugabe administration previously seized white-owned farms and gave them to blacks, damaging machinery in the process. In return for the equipment and the loan the Zimbabwean government will ship 30 million kilograms of tobacco to the People's Republic of China immediately and as much as 80 million kilograms over the next five years.[3] John Nkomo, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe, praised China's investment on 24 April 2007 during a state dinner in Harare held during the four-day visit of Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, to Zimbabwe.[2] Misheck Sibanda, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Edna Madzongwe, President of the Senate, cabinet ministers, and legislators from both ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change attended the dinner.[8]

Bilateral relationships[edit]

Diplomatic missions of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has significant bilateral relations with several countries.

Following Ian Smith's Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom in 1965 Rhodesia's diplomatic presence was dramatically rolled back across the world. By the time of the Lancaster House Agreement in 1979 Rhodesia only had representative offices in London, Bonn, Pretoria, Washington, D.C. and Tokyo. Missions in Maputo (then Lourenço Marques) and Lisbon were closed in 1975 following the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. Under Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe ran a new foreign policy which operated more closely with African, Soviet and NAM states.

Some white Rhodesians who have left their country following ZANU-PF coming to power have established "embassies" and offices representing a government in exile in places afar as Thailand, Iceland and London.

The capital of the country, Harare, currently hosts 51 embassies. Several other countries have ambassadors accredited from other capital cities, mainly Pretoria and Addis Ababa. Several countries have closed their embassies in Zimbabwe in recent years to protest the policies of President Robert Mugabe, with the Czech Republic and Botswana being the latest to announce their intentions to do so.[9][10] The information provided on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe's website is outdated, and due to the country's growing isolation, several embassies that are listed have closed. The information was checked on the websites of other foreign ministries to ensure accuracy.

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began
 Angola See Angola–Zimbabwe relations
  • Angola has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Luanda

Angola-Zimbabwe relations have remained cordial since the birth of both states, Angola in 1975 and Zimbabwe in 1979, during the Cold War. While Angola's foreign policy shifted to a pro-U.S. stance based on substantial economic ties, under the rule of President Robert Mugabe Zimbabwe's ties with the West soured in the late 1990s.

 Botswana
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Gaborone

Though initially friendly towards Zimbabwe, several disputes between the two countries have soured relations in recent years. Such problems include the fact that Botswana has seen an influx of refugees from Zimbabwe; the building of a fence along the border,[11] and has complained on several occasions of a campaign by Zimbabwe's state-run media against the government of Botswana, where it cites claims of human rights abuses against Zimbabwean's and the claim that Botswana, along with the United Kingdom and other countries were supporting the opposition in Zimbabwe.[12] Recently, relations have further been strained when the government of Botswana lodged a protest against the political violence occurring in Zimbabwe and the detention of opposition members in the country, stating it was "uncalled for".[13][14]

Protesting the outcome of the Zimbabwean presidential election of 2008, and the 'illegitimate' regime in Zimbabwe, President Ian Khama boycotted the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit on 16–17 August, which was instead attended by the Botswana Foreign Minister.[15]

Relations have further deteriorated between Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia after the latter two countries withdrew from a Memorandum of Understanding, excluding Zimbabwe and signed a new one to undertake the construction of the Kazungula Bridge Project on a bilateral basis. This was done despite a caution from the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NPAD) to not let politics interfere with the development project.[16]

In November 2008, Botswana foreign minister Phandu Skelemani stated that all countries bordering Zimbabwe should close their borders with the country, to 'bring down Robert Mugabe's government'.[17]

 Cape Verde
  • Cape Verde has an accredited mission in Luanda
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Kinshasa
 Ethiopia
  • Ethiopia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Addis Ababa
 Ghana
  • Ghana has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Accra
 Guinea
  • Guinea has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Kenya
  • Kenya has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Nairobi

Following the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election of 2008, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga urged the African Union to suspend Zimbabwe until "free and fair elections" have taken place.[18] He has also called for the removal of Mugabe.[19]

 Lesotho
  • Lesotho has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Malawi
  • Malawi has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Lilongwe
 Mauritius
  • Mauritius has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Mozambique
  • Mozambique has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Maputo and a consulate general in Beira
 Namibia See Namibia–Zimbabwe relations
  • Namibia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Windhoek

The ruling parties of Namibia (since independence in 1990) and Zimbabwe (since independence in 1980) have been close since pre-independence days, as both were anti-colonial movements against white-minority governments.[20]

 Nigeria
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Abuja
 Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Rwanda
  • Rwanda has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Sierra Leone
  • Sierra Leone has an accredited mission in Addis Ababa
 South Africa See South Africa–Zimbabwe relations
  • South Africa has a mission in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Pretoria and a consulate general in Johannesburg

In recent years, following the political crisis in the country, the ex-president Thabo Mbeki mediated with the MDC and Zanu PF to form a unity government, and often remained silent on the issues in Zimbabwe, which drew criticism.[21] Following a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the ruling ANC in South Africa became impatient and has urged the parties to form a unity government.[22]

 Swaziland
  • Swaziland has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Tanzania
  • Tanzania has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Dar es Salaam
 Uganda
  • Uganda has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Zambia See Zambia–Zimbabwe relations
  • Zambia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Lusaka

Initially the two countries had good relations after gaining independence. However, relations have recently been strained as Zambia, like Botswana, has reported similar 'smear campaigns' against the Zambian government by Zimbabwe's state owned media, claiming it was "hired by Britain to press for a speedy regime change in Harare." The foreign affairs minister, Kabinga Pande, has said it has lodged a protest against Zimbabwe, against the "sustained malicious campaign against Zambia." [23]

Following the controversial Zimbabwean presidential election of 2008, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa described Mugabe's Zimbabwe as a "regional embarrassment".[24]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria
  • Austria has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Vienna
 Belgium
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Brussels
 Bulgaria
  • Bulgaria has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Cyprus
  • Cyprus has an accredited mission in Nairobi
 Denmark
 Finland
  • Finland has an accredited mission in Maputo
 France
  • France has a mission in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Paris

French President Jacques Chirac angered the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States when in February 2003 he invited President Mugabe to a Franco-African conference on Africa held in France. Mugabe said he felt "at home" in Paris and "President Chirac insisted that we attend. He held firm to his principles. We need leaders of his stature." Chirac later emphasized that he had not kissed Mugabe on his cheeks when the conference began.[27] The UK had previously tried to get the European Union to deny Mugabe the right to come to Europe, citing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.[28]

 Germany
  • Germany has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Berlin
 Greece See Greek-Zimbabwean relations
  • Greece has an embassy in Harare
 Holy See
  • Holy See has an embassy in Harare
 Hungary
  • Hungary has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Ireland
  • Ireland has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Italy
  • Italy has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Rome
 Netherlands
  • Netherlands has an embassy in Harare
 Norway
  • Norway has an embassy in Harare
 Poland
  • Poland has an embassy in Harare
 Portugal
  • Portugal has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has a consulate general in Lisbon
 Romania
  • Romania has an embassy in Harare
 Russia 1981-02-18 See Russia–Zimbabwe relations
  • Russia has a mission in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Moscow

Russia-Zimbabwe relations date back to January 1979, during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Soviet Union supported Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union, and supplied them with arms; Robert Mugabe's attempts to gain Soviet support for his Zimbabwe African National Union were rebuffed, leading him to enter into relations with Soviet rival Beijing. After the end of the white regime in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe had strengthened his relations with both Beijing and Moscow as a result of intense western pressure on him. Russia maintains strong economic and political ties with Zimbabwe and both countries had vetoed the UN resolution imposing UN sanctions on Zimbabwe which was proposed by both the US and the UK on 12 July 2008.

 Serbia
  • Serbia has an accredited mission in Pretoria
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Belgrade
 Slovakia
  • Slovakia has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Spain
  • Spain has an embassy in Harare
 Sweden
  • Sweden has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Stockholm
  Switzerland
  • Switzerland has an embassy in Harare
 Turkey
  • Turkey has an embassy in Harare
 Ukraine
  • Ukraine has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 United Kingdom
Embassy of Zimbabwe in London
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in London

Historically, relations between Zimbabwe and the UK were close. However, in the last eight years, relations between Zimbabwe and the UK have been typically cold, with Robert Mugabe frequently accusing the former colonial power of sabotage; ruining the country and attempting to invade the country.[29] In turn, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to attend an African/European summit while Mugabe was invited, citing Zimbabwe's poor human rights record.[30] The UK also did not attend an address by President Mugabe at the 2008 UN Food Summit, stating that his presence there was "obscene".[31]

Middle East and North Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Algeria 1980-07-31[4]
  • Algeria has an embassy in Harare
 Egypt
  • Egypt has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Cairo
 Iran
  • Iran has an embassy in Harare
 Israel 1 See Israel–Zimbabwe relations
  • Israel-Zimbabwe relations are extraordinarily poor with the state-run publication, The Herald, questioning the legitimacy of Israel's existence. The Zimbabwean government recognizes an independent Palestinian state and advocates a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
 Oman
  • Oman has an accredited mission in London
 Kuwait
  • Kuwait has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Kuwait City
 Libya
  • Libya has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Tripoli

In the past Zimbabwe has enjoyed a close relationship with the government of Muammar Gaddafi partly due to their shared animosity towards Western governments. During the 2011 Libyan civil war the Mugabe regime indicated that it will not recognise the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council. When the staff of the Libyan embassy defected and joined the NTC after the decisive Battle of Tripoli in August 2011 Harare expelled the embassy, giving them 48 hours to leave the country.[32][33]

 Saudi Arabia 1980-06[4]
 Sudan
  • Sudan has an embassy in Harare.
 Tunisia
  • Tunisia has an accredited mission in Pretoria.
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
  • The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic has an accredited mission in Maputo.
 Yemen
  • Yemen has an embassy in Harare.

Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Argentina
  • Argentina has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Bahamas
  • Bahamas has an accredited mission in Ottawa
 Brazil
  • Brazil has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Brasília
 Canada 1980
Embassy of Zimbabwe in Ottawa
  • Canada has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Ottawa

Because of Zimbabwe's poor record on human rights and democracy, Canada has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe which include aid suspension and visa-ban to some members of the Harare government. Bilateral trade totalled C$16 million in 2011, down from C$430 million in 1999. Canadian investment in Zimbabwe is primarily in the mining sector.[34]

 Chile
  • Chile has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Cuba
  • Cuba has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Havana

"In the face of Western domination, Cuba is a beacon of hope against imperialism. Cuba is fighting to remove sanctions in their country and Zimbabwe is doing the same. We have a lot to learn from Cuba which started its revolution in 1959. We will continue with our solidarity, continue with the struggle and strengthen our co-operation."

Arthur Mutambara, Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister [35]
 Mexico
  • Mexico has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Peru
  • Peru has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 United States
Embassy of Zimbabwe in Washington

See United States – Zimbabwe relations

  • United States has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Washington, D.C.

United States President Jimmy Carter met with Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe in August 1980.[36] Author Geoff Hill criticized Carter for keeping "quiet as Mugabe nationalized the press, committed genocide against minority tribes and subverted [Zimbabwe's] constitution to make himself the sole source of authority."[37]

Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi summoned U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell on 9 November 2005 and expressed his "extreme displeasure" with comments Dell made a few days earlier in Mutare. Dell had said government corruption had led to food shortages. Mugabe said Dell could "go to hell."[38] Dell left Zimbabwe for Washington, D.C., United States on 9 November for consultations after meeting with Minister Mumbengegwi.[39]

 Uruguay
  • Uruguay has an accredited mission in Pretoria

Rest of the world[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia See Australia–Zimbabwe relations
  • Australia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Canberra

In 2002, the Howard government in Australia imposed targeted sanctions against members of the Zimbabwean government in protest against the deteriorating political situation in Zimbabwe. The sanctions were extended and strengthened in 2007.[40] These sanctions have included restrictions on travel to and through Australia for certain members of the Zimbabwean government, suspension of all non-humanitarian aid, and prohibitions on defence links.[41] The Rudd government in 2008 considered further sanctions against Zimbabwe, with foreign minister Stephen Smith declaring that "I've made it clear that we are open to consider more sanctions ... We are currently giving active consideration to that issue."[42]

 Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 India
  • India has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in New Delhi
 Indonesia
  • Indonesia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Jakarta
 Japan
  • Japan has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Tokyo
 Malaysia
  • Malaysia has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur
   Nepal
  • Nepal has an accredited mission in Cairo
 New Zealand
  • New Zealand has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 North Korea
  • North Korea has an accredited mission in Dar es Salaam

In addition, North Korea sent advisors to Zimbabwe in the 1980s to train the Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe Army, thus strengthening relations between the two countries. The Fifth Brigade has gained notoriety for purportedly committing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, and some observers[who?] claim it to be the most brutal brigade in the Zimbabwe Army[citation needed][dubious ].

 Pakistan See Pakistan–Zimbabwe relations
  • Pakistan has an embassy in Harare
 People's Republic of China 1980-04-18 See People's Republic of China – Zimbabwe relations
  • People's Republic of China has an embassy in Harare
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Beijing
 Singapore
  • Singapore has an accredited mission in Singapore
 South Korea
  • South Korea has an embassy in Harare
 Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka has accredited missions in Nairobi and Pretoria
 Thailand
  • Thailand has an accredited mission in Pretoria
 Vietnam
  • Vietnam has an accredited mission in Luanda

Multilateral organizations[edit]

Zimbabwe has missions to several multilateral organizations:

Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

Zimbabwe became an independent Commonwealth republic in 1980. Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations in December 2003, due to international criticism of the Government of Zimbabwe's human rights record.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Schwartz, Richard. Coming to Terms: Zimbabwe in the International Arena. I.B. Tauris.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ?, ? (?). The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security. p. 48. 
  2. ^ a b "China ranks Zimbabwe's top investor: senior official". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 19 January 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Zimbabwe gets Chinese farm machinery worth $25 mln Reuters via SABC News
  4. ^ a b c ?, ? (?). Southern African Political History: A Chronological of Key Political Events from Independence to Mid-1997. pp. 711–712. 
  5. ^ Zimbabwe: Country accused of trading ivory for military hardware from China, 27 June 2007. AllAfrica
  6. ^ Zimbabwe buys more military jets from China Reuters via Zimbabwe buys more military jets from China
  7. ^ Zimbabwe military plans recruitment drive, mulls pay increases Voice of America
  8. ^ Zimbabwe: China now Zimbabwe's top investor AllAfrica
  9. ^ Zimbabwe: Czech Embassy to Close Over 'Crazy' Policies
  10. ^ Botswana to close its Harare embassy
  11. ^ Botswana-Zimbabwe fence row
  12. ^ Africafiles - Botswana-Zimbabwe
  13. ^ Veterans ready to fight - Mugabe
  14. ^ "African call for Zimbabwe unity", BBC, 1 July 2008
  15. ^ "Botswana president criticises Mugabe", AFP, 15 August 2008.
  16. ^ "Botswana, Zambia exclude Zim from MoU", The Zimbabwe Guardian, 12 August 2008.
  17. ^ "Botswana suggests neighbors close borders with Zimbabwe", International Herald Tribune, 26 November 2008.
  18. ^ "Kenya urges AU to suspend Mugabe", BBC, 30 June 2008
  19. ^ "Kenya PM calls for Mugabe removal", BBC, 4 December 2008.
  20. ^ Zimbabwe heaps praise on Swapo's transition effort by Tangeni Amupadhi, The Namibian, 3 June 2004
  21. ^ "Mbeki urges patience in Zimbabwe", The National Post, 8 April 2008.
  22. ^ "Zuma says summit must "force" Zimbabwe deal", Reuters, 7 November 2008.
  23. ^ Zambia protests against Zimbabwe
  24. ^ "Zimbabwe's neighbours", BBC, June 2008
  25. ^ Zimbabwe Embassy in Denmark
  26. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark: Zimbabwe
  27. ^ Page 33 Hating America: The New World Sport
  28. ^ Page 146 Allies: Why the West Had to Remove Saddam
  29. ^ "Zimbabwe 'ready for UK invasion'". BBC News. 18 November 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Brown boycotts summit over Mugabe". BBC News. 7 December 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  31. ^ Mugabe food talks trip 'obscene'
  32. ^ "Zim expels Libya ambassador for recognising rebels". Mail and Guardian. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Libyan envoy to Zimbabwe expelled for burning flag". The Zimbabwean. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Canada-Zimbabwe relations". Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  35. ^ Zimbabwe: Build on Revolution Legacy, Country Told All Africa, 21 August 2009
  36. ^ Page 380 Notable U.S. Ambassadors Since 1775: A Biographical Dictionary
  37. ^ Page 8 What Happens After Mugabe?
  38. ^ Zimbabwe voices anger at US envoy BBC News
  39. ^ Ambassador leaves Zimbabwe Zwnews
  40. ^ Yaxley, Louise (17 July 2007). "Downer to strengthen Zimbabwe sanctions". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  41. ^ "Australian Bilateral Sanctions : Zimbabwe". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia). Retrieved 12 September 2008. 
  42. ^ "Tougher Zimbabwe sanctions considered". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2008.