Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 26, 2010

On September 23, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Afrairs Michelle Gavin met with senior members of Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF/MDC transition government, including Minister of Energy and Power Elton Mangoma, Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Patrick Chinamasa and Minister of Regional and International Cooperation Priscilla Misihairabwe-Mushonga. The Zimbabwean delegation reviewed in detail the economic and political progress that has occurred over the past 18 months since the conclusion of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The United States recognized and applauded the economic advances that have occurred in Zimbabwe but remains concerned that political progress has not been as successful. The discussions were cordial and both sides agreed on the need to seek opportunities to continue an open dialogue.

The United States pointed out that the current political and human rights environment in Zimbabwe remained troublesome, pointing to the recent harassment of WOZA and the disruption of constitutional reform meetings in Harare. The United States said that Zimbabwe must make further progress for the removal of targeted sanctions. Political progress comes with strong institutions, not strong individuals, and developing strong and transparent institutions will sustain economic growth.

The United States remains a major contributor and continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe. Our sanctions are under regular review, but as long as human rights violations, land seizures, and intimidation of those participating in the political process continue, the sanctioned individuals and entities on the list who continue to perpetrate and benefit from these acts are unlikely to be removed. Significant improvements in the political environment, greater respect for human rights and political freedoms will result in change in U.S. posture. The United States welcomes engagement with the transition government, and we are committed to keeping the door open to further dialogue.

PRN: 2010/1347