The outgoing Austrian ambassador to Zimbabwe Ms Maria Moya Goesth yesterday paid a courtesy call on Acting President Joice Mujuru and was quoted by ZBC as saying the closure of its embassy had nothing to do with politics.
“This has nothing to do with the bilateral relations between the two countries but it is part of a series of closures due to the financial crisis, of which no country is completely immune to,” she said.
Ms Goesth said Austria was closing a number of other diplomatic missions in other countries to cut costs and stressed that the closure of the Harare embassy was not a result of sour relations between her country and
Zimbabwe. The outgoing envoy denied the existence of illegal sanctions in Zimbabwe only referring to the embargo that has strangled the economy as “restrictive measures”.
Zimbabwe and Austria have not quarreled in any forum.
Vienna joined other EU members in slapping Harare with illegal sanctions after Britain internationalised its bilateral dispute with Zimbabwe.
This was after Harare had embarked on the land reform exercise that has since benefited thousands of the once marginalised indigenous people.