Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe and India have expressed readiness to scale up cooperation on mutually beneficial projects in diverse sectors.
This emerged after a virtual meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Dr Frederick Shava and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Mr Vellamvelly Muraleedharan.
“The two Ministers acknowledged the cordial relations existing between the two countries. They agreed to continue to work together to further deepen economic cooperation.
“Minister Shava appreciated the support Zimbabwe has received from India in its fight against Covid-19, particularly the donation of 75 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses.
“India appreciated long-standing support it received from Zimbabwe especially at multilateral fora. They also agreed to mutually support each other on issues of mutual interests at the international fora,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in a statement on Monday.
The Indian Government Minister wrote on micro blogging site Twitter: “Had an engaging interaction with Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade of Zimbabwe.
“Congratulated him on assuming office as Minister. Discussed strengthening exchanges in diverse sectors to enhance mutually beneficial relationship between Zimbabwe and India.”
The virtual meeting between Mr Muraleedharan and Foreign Minister was initiated by the Indian side.
Discussions ranged from cooperation in multilateral fora to bilateral cooperation in the sectors of health, energy and economic partnership.
This was first high-level contact after more than one year when Cde Victor Matamadenda, the then Deputy Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, visited India in February 2020.
India has donated medicines, rice, ambulances and vaccines in support of Zimbabwe‘s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and Minister Shava conveyed gratitude for the same.
Zimbabwe has also supported a joint call by India and South Africa for a waiver of patents on vaccines made at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The Indian minister recalled his earlier visit as part of the delegation to Zimbabwe in November 2018 and the Government of Zimbabwe confirmed participation at 16th CII-Exim Bank conclave on July 13.
Foreign Minister Shava expressed his condolences and sympathy for the loss of lives in India during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in that country and appreciated the measures taken by the Government of India to bring the pandemic under control.
The Indian minister referred to the invitation extended to Zimbabwe to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) which was launched by Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019 in New York.