President Mnangagwa’s engagementand re-engagement agenda takes centre stage at UNGA

By Oleen Ndori, Foreign Editor

THE ongoing 77th United Nations General Assembly has provided fertile ground for Zimbabwe’s engagement and re-engagement drive, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa meeting his Botswana and Iranian counterparts on the sidelines of the global meeting in New York.

Following his address at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President went on to attend the Governance of Natural Resources: Diamonds for Development event hosted by Botswana on the sidelines of the global meeting.

With vast diamond reserves, Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from Botswana, which has been growing its economy using the precious stone.

Representing the World Diamond Council, Mr David Bouffard said the global body is looking at ways through which nations with diamond reserves can conform to the dictates of United Nations frameworks regarding the precious stone.

“We are looking at mechanisms into the selling and trading of diamonds and mineral related violence,” he said.

Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi weighed in saying his country has made huge economic strides through the support of diamond mining and exports.

“We have made economic development owing to the vast deposits of diamonds in our country,” he noted.

President Masisi also took time to explain to President Mnangagwa some of the diamonds that are mined in his country, including their different colours, where they are mined and the coloured stones found in the Southern African country.

After attending the meeting hosted by President Masisi, Cde Mnangagwa also met the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Ebrahim Raisi.

With deep historical relations that date back to days of the liberation struggle, the two leaders discussed issues of common interest, including political, economic and cultural relations.

Iran has always supported Zimbabwe on the need for the lifting of the coercive unilateral sanctions imposed on the country by the West.

The Middle Eastern nation is also reeling under sanctions, with President Raisi decrying as great injustice the double standards exhibited by Western nations towards his country’s peaceful nuclear activities when he delivered his address at the United Nations General Assembly.

In August this year, Zimbabwe hosted the mid-term review for the 8th Session of Zimbabwe – Iran Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation, with agreements that the two countries should move further to deepen relations on the trade and economic front.

The meeting also saw agreements being drawn up for cooperation in sectors such as agriculture, energy, education and communication.

The 9th Session of the Zimbabwe – Iran Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation will be hosted by Tehran.