Queen Elizabeth II 'seeks to reconcile Britain with Zimbabwe – report

(Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)
(Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

London – Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is seeking to mend fractured relations between Zimbabwe and her country, a report says, adding that she is hoping the southern African country can rejoin the Commonwealth.  

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, there were indications the two countries would soon be holding high level diplomatic meetings in their bid to mend their ties.

The report said that Britain had already sent two of its top diplomats as it pushed a more engaging stance towards Zimbabwe.

Last year, Britain’s Africa minister Rory Stewart attended the inauguration of Zimbabwe's new president after years of uncertain ties under ex-president Robert Mugabe's government.

A conservative British newspaper, the British Express, said that the queen was a key figure in mending the frosty relations between the two countries.

Willingness to re-engage the international community

"When asked by a diplomat at a party what her hopes were for this year, the queen replied, wishing not for world peace, nor even happiness for her own family but 'that Zimbabwe will rejoin the Commonwealth'," said the report. 

Zimbabwe had long been an entity close to the queen's heart, and she was known to have been upset when the country was suspended from the organisation in 2003 after its then leader, Mugabe, ignored repeated pleas over human rights abuse.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has indicated his willingness to re-engage the international community, including allowing international observers in its forthcoming elections. 

Mnangagwa has vowed to hold fair elections to ensure Zimbabwe "engages the world as a qualified democratic state".

The country was expected to hold elections in four to five months time, an earlier date than expected following the ousting of Mugabe.

Mnangagwa took office in November after a shock military takeover ended Mugabe's 37-year reign.


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