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AMBASSADORS from Botswana, Poland and Azerbaijan yesterday presented their credentials to President Mugabe at State House and pledged to enhance diplomatic ties between Zimbabwe and their countries.

First to present letters of credence was Gaborone’s incoming ambassador Kenny Kapinga.

Ambassador Kapinga told journalists after a closed door meeting with President Mugabe that he wanted to boost economic ties between Harare and Gaborone during his tour of duty.

“In terms of economic co-operation we want to work together, especially in cross-border infrastructure, that will enable transportation of goods and services to our markets where-ever they are. That is one major area we can work together for the benefit of both countries,” he said.

Before coming to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Kapinga was Botswana’s chief diplomat to South Africa.

He will also be in charge of Gaborone’s diplomatic missions in Malawi and Mauritius.

Azerbaijan, which is opening its first diplomatic mission in Harare, said it was ready to co-operate with Zimbabwe in various sectors of the economy.

The country’s chief diplomat, Elkhan Pohukh oglu Polukhov, who will be based in Pretoria, South Africa, told reporters after meeting President Mugabe that relations between Harare and Baku date back to the days when Azerbaijan was still part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.

He said his country was ready to share its experiences with Zimbabwe, especially in the area of Information and Technology, energy and mining.

“Today we hope to start building relations in capacity of independence as Azerbaijan not as part of the Soviet Union,” he said.

“We believe that there are opportunities, especially in the sphere of agriculture where His Excellency (President Mugabe) indicated that we still export some tobacco products from here.

“We believe that we can expand our relations in many other spheres like education, exchange of students.

“In other spheres where we are well known is energy with expertise in oil and gas.”

Between 2002 and 2004, Ambassador Polukhov served as political assistant and embassy spokesperson for Baku’s mission in Israel. He was also Azerbaijan’s first and second secretary to Georgia between 2008 and 2010.

Speaking to journalists after presenting her letters of credence to President Mugabe yesterday, Poland’s incoming ambassador to Zimbabwe Anna Raduchowska Brochwicz said she would work hard to improve relations between Harare and Warsaw.

“There is huge basis for us to try and strengthen our further bilateral co-operation, which has always been good since we established diplomatic relations in 1981,” she said.

“We are agreed with the President that we may try to look for opportunities in the mining, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.”

She said there were also potential opportunities in the tourism sector worth pursuing.

Ambassador Brochwicz once served as Warsaw’s junior diplomat in New York, Slovakia, Sweden and Belgium.

She said relations between Zimbabwe and the European Union were not good but there were future possibilities of thawing.

Source : The Herald

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