Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin T.D., welcomes commencement of talks on resolving Zimbabwean crisis
Speaking on the occasion of a lunch for African Ambassadors at Iveagh House, the Minister for Foreign Affairs cautiously welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Harare on Monday which provides for talks to try to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis.
The Minister said: “I note the terms of the MoU, which set an ambitious timetable for progress. I hope that the commitment of the parties to this intense two week programme of work will enable negotiations to proceed rapidly and constructively towards a resolution of this long-running crisis. The involvement of the United Nations and African Union, alongside SADC, is welcome. It is vital that the outcome is based on genuine respect for the wishes of the Zimbabwean people, of whose appalling suffering we must not lose sight. It is imperative that the talks deliver an immediate cessation of violence and a restoration of the activities of NGOs delivering humanitarian relief
I regard this very much as the beginning of a process. I believe it is necessary to maintain pressure on Mugabe regime. The aim of the additional restrictive measures adopted by the EU yesterday is to bring about real political change. Appropriate targeted sanctions are quite compatible with a genuine commitment to mediation and dialogue. If these talks do not lead to a quick and orderly democratic transition, the EU stands ready to consider further targeted, smart economic sanctions.”
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