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Government threatens to review ties with Sweden and Denmark

Zimbabwe, angered by what it says is open support for the opposition by Denmark and Sweden ahead of presidential elections next year, threatened on Tuesday to review diplomatic relations with the two Nordic countries, PANA reported.
Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge said plans by Stockholm and Copenhagen to slash bilateral aid and re-allocate it to the opposition and civic groups critical of the government amounted to interference in the internal affairs of the country.

“We are a sovereign nation and all foreign missions must consult us as government,” he said, adding Sweden and Denmark had stepped out of diplomatic norms by getting entangled in domestic politics. Sweden told Zimbabwe last week it was reducing its US $12.7 million annual bilateral aid to the government by 45 percent and giving the slashed portion to the opposition to help it prepare for the presidential elections.

Denmark, on the other hand, announced it was freezing aid to the government until after the elections, in protest at alleged harassment of the opposition and the break-down in the rule of law in the country. Mudenge told state television the government was reviewing relations with the two countries, a diplomatic term for possible severing of ties.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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