Mumbengegwi had cordial meeting with Ray


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Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi had a cordial meeting with new United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray at which he said he hoped the two nations would have improved relations.

Even Ray was impressed with their first meeting which he said was cordial, in sharp contrast to former Ambassador James McGee’s initial courtesy call, during which Mumbengegwi threatened to expel McGee unless he respected the principle of non-interference.

Ray stressed the US’s commitment to work with all those who played by the rules and Mumbengegwi noted that there were rules for diplomats to follow as well.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 09HARARE929, AMBASSADOR MEETS ZIM FOREIGN MINISTER; CREDENTIALS

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

09HARARE929

2009-12-02 11:43

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

VZCZCXRO5119

OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN

DE RUEHSB #0929 3361143

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 021143Z DEC 09

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5171

INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA 3183

RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 3293

RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1720

RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2554

RUEHDK/AMEMBASSY DAKAR 2923

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 3341

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 5789

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000929

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR B.WALCH

DRL FOR N. WILETT

ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

NSC FOR M. GAVIN

STATE PASS TO USAID FOR J. HARMON AND L. DOBBINS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2019

TAGS: PREL PGOV ZI

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS ZIM FOREIGN MINISTER; CREDENTIALS

POSTPONED

 

Classified By: Ambassador Charles A. Ray for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: On December 2, following a call on Zimbabwe’s

Chief of Presidential Protocol Munyaradzi Kajese, Ambassador

presented copies of letters of credence and recall to Foreign

Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi. Presentation of credentials

to President Mugabe has been postponed to December 10. Both

meetings with Zimbabwean officials were cordial, although the

Zimbabweans lamented U.S. sanctions policy and Ambassador

noted U.S. commitment to rule of law and human rights. END

SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) On December 2, Ambassador met with Chief of

Presidential Protocol Ambassador Munyaradzi Kajese and

Minister of Foreign Affairs Simbarashe Mumbengegwi in

preparation for presentation of credentials to President

Mugabe. Both Zimbabwean officials welcomed Ambassador Ray to

Zimbabwe and expressed the hope that he would usher in an era

of improved relations. Their common script also urged the

Ambassador to travel around Zimbabwe and get to know the

Zimbabwean people so that he could form his own opinions.

They said he would see for himself how U.S. sanctions are

negatively affecting ordinary Zimbabweans, including those in

rural areas, and they hoped, having seen this, the Ambassador

would work to eliminate sanctions. Mumbengegwi noted that

Zimbabwe welcomed President Obama’s commitment to engage,

rather than isolate, those with whom the USG disagrees, but

lamented that this policy seems to apply everywhere except

Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, he argued, the existence of a hung

Parliament in which ZANU-PF and MDC-T had equal voting

strength had led the Zimbabwean people to choose to create an

inclusive government; the USG should respect this choice.

(COMMENT: This revisionist interpretation ignored the role

of Zimbabwe’s discredited presidential election in the

decision to form an inclusive government. END COMMENT.)

Kajese told the Ambassador that unanticipated developments

forced postponement of his presentation of credentials from

December 3 to December 10.

 

3. (C) The Ambassador told both interlocutors that he too

hoped his tour in Zimbabwe would bring improved relations.

Zimbabwe was once a jewel in the crown of Africa, and he was

confident all Zimbabweans would agree it is desirable to work

together to restore Zimbabwe’s former social and economic

achievements. He said that he appreciated the warm welcome

he had received to date, but also expressed dismay at an

incident on November 28 in which his official vehicle was

stopped and detained for over an hour by police who wished to

search it. Neither official had been aware of the incident

and both regretted it and assured the Ambassador it was not

reflective of policy. (NOTE: The Embassy sent a Diplomatic

Note protesting the incident and requesting an investigation.

END NOTE.) The Ambassador stressed that he looked forward

to talking with and listening to representatives of all

points of view in Zimbabwe; while we would not always agree,

disagreement did not mean disengagement. The Ambassador

noted that President Obama had stressed Africa’s

responsibility for its own future, and the Ambassador

Qresponsibility for its own future, and the Ambassador

promised that the USG would cooperate with all those who

support the rule of law and respect human rights to help make

Zimbabwe’s future bright. ForMin Mumbengegwi responded by

expressing the hope that this message did not mean that the

Ambassador intended to interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal

politics. The Ambassador stressed the USG’s commitment to

work with all those who play by the rules and Mumbengegwi

noted that there are rules for diplomats to follow as well.

(COMMENT: While the script was familiar, the tone remained

cordial, in sharp contrast to former Ambassador McGee’s

initial courtesy call, during which Mumbengegwi threatened to

expel McGee unless he respected the principle of

noninterference. END COMMENT.)

 

RAY

 

(3 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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