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World > Africa > Zimbabwe > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Zimbabwe - Foreign Relations (Notes)
FOREIGN RELATIONS
Since independence, Zimbabwe has enunciated and follows a policy of 'active nonalignment.' In practice, this has meant that Zimbabwe usually adhered to positions established by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM); the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union; or, until it withdrew in 2003, the Commonwealth. Zimbabwe took a particular interest in the search for independence for Namibia (South-West Africa) from South Africa. In addition, as chairman of the front-line states in southern Africa, Zimbabwe spoke out vigorously against the policies of apartheid in South African and frequently called for the imposition of economic sanctions against Pretoria. In November 1982, Zimbabwe was chosen by the OAU to hold one of the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council for the following two years, which brought it onto the center stage of world events and gave it much-needed experience in international affairs. In 1986, Zimbabwe was the site of the NAM summit meeting; Prime Minister Mugabe became chairman of that organization, giving both Mugabe and Zimbabwe added international visibility and responsibility. Zimbabwe maintains embassies in the United States, United Kingdom, Egypt, Angola, Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria, India, Sweden, France, China, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Swaziland, Belgium, Tanzania, Botswana, Serbia, Mozambique, Switzerland, Cuba, Canada, Japan, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, and South Africa. Sixty-six countries are represented in Harare as are several international organizations including UN institutions, the European Union, and the World Bank. Zimbabwe is a member of many international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF); African Development Bank; The World Trade Organization; Southern African Development Community (SADC); Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa (PTA); African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP, in association with the EU); Group of 77 (G-77); Group of 15 (G-15); NAM; African Union (AU); Customs Cooperation Council (CCC); and the World Federation of Trade Unions. The IMF Executive Board in July 2004 postponed until January 2005 deliberations on a recommendation for Zimbabwe's compulsory withdrawal from the institution. The IMF closed its Zimbabwe office in October 2004 in a decision not linked to the country's considerable arrears. Shortly after the March 2002 presidential election, the Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe from leadership councils for one year after the Commonwealth's election observer team found the conduct of the election seriously flawed. After this suspension was upheld in December 2003, Mugabe withdrew Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth.
Historically, Zimbabwe's closest links have been with the U.K.; however, in the past six years, this relationship has been very strained. The government has demonized Britain in the press, blaming the country for Zimbabwe's problems, and claiming that Britain reneged on promises made at Lancaster House to provide money for land reform. As with the U.S., thousands of Zimbabweans studied in the U.K., and private links remain close; however, official relations are strained.
Other West European countries have ties with Zimbabwe. The Scandinavian countries share certain philosophical affinities and have provided much assistance, as have France, Canada, and the Federal Republic of Germany. Portugal and Greece maintain links partly because of the sizable Portuguese and Greek communities in the country. Similar historical ties have led to the establishment of relations with India and Pakistan, and to a lesser extent, with Bangladesh. The government's 'look east' policy has led to closer diplomatic relations with East Asian countries such as Malaysia and China.
Zimbabwe maintains diplomatic relations with virtually every African country, although some ties are closer than others. African nations with embassies in Harare are Algeria, Angola, Botswana, D.R.C., Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. Ruled continuously by a liberation party, Zimbabwe developed and maintains close ties with a number of revolutionary states and organizations. Among these are the People's Republic of China, Cuba, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Iran, Libya, and the Palestine Liberation Organization.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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