The incoming United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Harry K Thomas Jr, has pledged to find common ground with the Zanu PF government in order to enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.
In a statement after presenting his credentials to President Robert Mugabe at State House yesterday, Thomas said the US government remained committed to promoting democratic institutions, equitable economic growth, public health, and food security.
“My meeting with President Mugabe follows closely on the meeting that he had a week ago with a delegation of members from the US Congress, led by Senator Jeff Flake. Both meetings underscore an important fact: The enduring interest and commitment of the United States to the people of Zimbabwe has not changed,” he said.
“To realise these goals, we strongly believe that it is important to engage with government and non-governmental entities alike to promote our shared values and to work together in areas of common concern. We view this ongoing dialogue as part of building the bilateral relationship,” Thomas said.
He added: “Whenever we may differ on the best means of achieving these goals, I will seek to engage in a dialogue that is respectful and that seeks to uphold the universal values and rights that Zimbabweans fought so hard to gain 36 years ago.
“In addition to my government’s primary policy interests of supporting strong democratic institutions, sustainable economic growth, regional security, and expanding opportunities for people and communities, we are mindful of the immediate challenges before us: Responding to the 2015–2016 El Niño event, which experts say is one of the strongest on record. Zimbabwe is among the worst affected countries.”
Thomas replaces Bruce Wharton.