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Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin has sent a congratulatory message to President Mugabe and Zimbabweans on the occasion of its 34th Independence Anniversary celebrated last Friday.Mr Putin also spoke highly of Zimbabwe-Russia relations that date back to the days of the liberation struggle, in a message sent through the Russian Embassy in Harare.

“I am confident that the relations between Russia and Zimbabwe which are based on solid traditions of friendship and mutual respect will further actively develop for the benefit of our peoples, in the interests of consolidating stability and security in the African continent.

“I wish you, Mr President, good health and every success, as well as happiness and prosperity to your compatriots,” said Mr Putin.

Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko also conveyed a congratulatory message to President Mugabe on Sunday.

The country, which has stood by Zimbabwe over the years, expressed its hope that the two countries would explore areas of co-operation.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom weighed in with a congratulatory statement that also skirted mentioning Government, even though the same Zimbabweans they purported to congratulate exercised their democratic right to give President Mugabe and Zanu-PF another mandate to lead the country for another five years in 2013.

The United States sent its backhanded congratulations which came with a tightening of its ruinous economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe marked its 34th anniversary on Friday, coming after defeating the opposition MDC-T and at a time when the country is making efforts to implement one of its homegrown economic policies, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

The country celebrated independence under the theme Zimbabwe @34: Defending Our Sovereignty and Providing an Enabling Environment for Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Social Transformation.

Source : The Herald