Story by Oleen Ndori
THE visiting Palestinian delegation ended its tour of duty in Zimbabwe with the signing of a number of Memoranda of Understanding in various areas for enhanced cooperation between the two countries.
The three-day visit by the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Dr Riad Malki has resulted in cementing the strong ties that exist between the two sister republics.
On his last day of the visit this Wednesday, Dr Malki held a meeting with Zimbabwe’s Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, who confirmed that discussions touched on various areas of cooperation such as media, agriculture and education.
Senator Mutsvangwa noted, ‘‘We held a very productive meeting where we discussed the areas of engagement between our two countries and they have interest in the fields of media as well as agriculture, we also discussed the role that the media can play in pursuit of our relations.’’
The Palestinian Foreign Minister went on to sign four memoranda of understanding with the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Professor Amon Murwira.
The first MOU is on Diplomatic and Political Consultations, the second on cooperation in the field of agriculture and veterinary services, while others are in areas of industrial development as well as cooperation in higher education and scientific research.
The Palestinian Foreign Minister believes that the agreements highlight key areas of engagement between Zimbabwe and Palestine.
Dr Malki said, ‘‘My visit here has reaffirmed the relationship that exists between our two countries and the memoranda of Understanding signed are a testament to these relations that truly date back to the liberation struggle.’’
Professor Murwira noted that despite the existence of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West, the second Republic has introduced a raft of measures that are spurring socio-economic development towards an upper-middle-income society by 2030.
Prof Murwira said, ‘‘Zimbabwe is also a victim of these unilateral measures. We, therefore, appeal to the Government of the State of Palestine to continue to call for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on us by some western countries in violation of the tenets of international law. Let me take this opportunity, your Excellency, to inform you that under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has unveiled a raft of measures aimed at improving the ease of doing business with the overall vision of attaining an Upper-Middle Income Status by 2030. In this regard, I appeal to you and through you, to the Palestinian business persons and technocrats, including those in the diaspora, to consider investing in Zimbabwe or sharing their expertise with us.’’
Professor Murwira also spoke of Zimbabwe’s support of the Palestinian cause and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as enshrined in the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995.
The visit by the Palestinian envoy comes after a meeting between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Palestinian Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr Mohammad Shtayyeh at the recently concluded African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.