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Diplomat: Britain no longer votes against funding Zimbabwe
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21:16, April 24, 2009

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Britain will no longer vote against funding for Zimbabwe at the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Andrew Pocock has said.

Briefing journalists after meeting the British ambassador on Thursday, Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said Pocock told him that the British government would be very supportive of the inclusive government and would do all it can to ensure its success.

The announcement is a major boost to finance ministers of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), who will present Zimbabwe's case at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington DC to seek funding for Zimbabwe, The Herald daily newspaper said on Friday.

Mutambara said Pocock indicated that London was prepared to engage Zimbabwe to end the bilateral stand-off. "They will not vote against Zimbabwe at the WB, IMF and IFC. They will behave well," Mutambara said.

The British government, he said, was not putting any preconditions on Zimbabwe, but was interested in seeing a "general directional correctness." "They want to see signs of effective inclusiveness," he added.

Mutambara said Pocock had also indicated that his country was willing to go beyond humanitarian assistance by helping with the payment of teachers' salaries and assisting the government to improve revenue collection systems.

Pocock, however, said Zimbabweans should play their part in addressing all outstanding issues under the Global Political Agreement.

The deputy premier said the outstanding issues were not insurmountable. "In summary, we had a progressive meeting. The British are clear in their minds that there is no alternative government to this inclusive Government," said Mutambara.

Asked to comment on strides made by the inclusive government, Mutambara said progress was evident in the introduction of the Short-Term Economic Recovery Programme last month and the 100-Day Action Plan agreed at a ministerial retreat in Victoria Falls earlier this month.

He said Zimbabwe was not on the edge but there was need to address matters that had damaged the country's image. "Let us not ask what other nations can do for Zimbabwe. The future of Zimbabwe depends on us working on our issues," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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