Outgoing US ambassador Mr Bruce Wharton yesterday said the relationship between his country and Harare improved significantly during his tenure as Washington’s chief diplomat to Zimbabwe.
Speaking to journalists after meeting Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices in the capital yesterday, Ambassador Wharton said the thawing relations have resulted in reciprocal business visits by the two countries in June.
“From time to time, we update senior Government officials on several issues and we talked about the relationship between US, Iran and Cuba and how that came about and what it could mean to the relationship between the US and Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We talked about the importance of investment in Zimbabwe. We also spoke about Zimbabwe’s delegation that visited the US in June and US delegation that also visited Zimbabwe in the same month.
“Our relations are improving..,” he said.
Ambassador Wharton said the fact that he was exchanging notes with Zimbabwe’s Government officials at the highest level also attested to the improvement of relations between Harare and Washington.
Commenting on the death of Zimbabwe’s lion Cecil killed by an American dentist Dr Walter Palmer, Ambassador Wharton said America was waiting for official communication from the Zimbabwean Government relating to the extradition of the culprit.
Ambassador Wharton said he would be leaving possibly next month and would be replaced by Ambassador Harry Kay Thomas.
VP Mnangagwa also met Sudanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Hamdan Wadi Dldoom Ebeidalla.
Ambassador Ebeidalla told journalists that the purpose of his visit was to seek the VP’s support with a view to cementing relations between Zimbabwe and Sudan.
He said the two countries could cooperate in a number of areas including mining and agriculture.
“I presented my credentials to President Mugabe in 2013 and was instructed by President Mugabe to boost relations between the two countries so as to materialise into benefits for the two nations,” he said.
“My job is to do my best in order to meet that instruction.
“As regards to the situation in Sudan, everything is calm there. There is no longer fighting. Here in Zimbabwe, you have good experience in mining and we have recently started mining in Sudan. We are in need of experience in the area on mining. We have an experience in the area of agriculture because our economy is agro-based which we can share with Zimbabwe.”
Earlier, VP Mnangagwa had met UNICEF country representative Mr Reza Hossaini.
The two discussed issues relating to maternal health and improvements in the education sector.