Zimbabwe thanks China, Russia for UN veto
Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008

Herald Reporter
July 14, 2008
The Herald

GOVERNMENT yesterday thanked Zimbabwe's true and trusted friends for thwarting efforts by the West to impose more sanctions on the country through the United Nations Security Council last week.

In an interview yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity Cde Bright Matonga hailed China and Russia for vetoing concerted efforts by Britain and the United States to victimise Zimbabwe.

He also thanked Libya, South Africa and Vietnam for their unreserved support for Zimbabwe.

"We are grateful to our all-weather friends, particularly China and Russia. We thank them wholeheartedly for their continued support and for the work they have done before, during and after independence. They continue to support us even during these difficult times," he said. "We are very grateful for their support.

"As Zimbabweans, we now need to work together as a united front. We have to put our house in order and be organised. This is the time for nation building."

Cde Matonga said it was important for Zimbabweans to put their differences aside and join hands for the development of the country.

"We have to work together as a nation. We must be united and disciplined. We do not need to take our friends for granted by always putting them in difficult circumstances as they might fail to defend us next time," he said.

Cde Matonga acknowledged the support the country was receiving from Sadc and the African Union but noted that some African countries were being compromised by the budgetary support they receive from

the West.

He said there were no divisions in Sadc and the AU over Zimbabwe although the West had tried to use divide-and-rule tactics.

"The enemy has not rested. The enemy is very bitter, vindictive and racist. We should not relax and say we have defeated them. It may look as victory, but it is not. We did not want to be on the agenda. We have to focus on nation building," Cde Matonga said.

Moves in the Security Council to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe at the UN level failed on Friday when Russia and China, two of the 15-member body's permanent members, vetoed the US draft resolution that could have widened the current illegal embargo against Zimbabwe to include an arms ban, among others.

The US, Britain, Italy, France, Panama, Croatia, Belgium, Costa Rica and Burkina Faso voted in favour of the sanctions while China, Russia, Libya, Vietnam and South Africa voted against. Indonesia abstained.

The negative vote of a single permanent member kills a resolution.

Russia condemned the move, saying it was an attempt to take the Security Council beyond its mandate of maintaining international peace and security.

It noted that such "illegitimate and dangerous attempts" could unbalance the whole UN system, adding that the problems in Zimbabwe could not be solved by the imposition of sanctions.

Stung by their failure, Britain and the US criticised Russia with America's UN envoy saying Moscow's veto cast doubt on its reliability as a G8 ally.

But Russia slammed the accusation as "unacceptable".

"Representatives of the United States and Britain have declared that our vote betrayed the G8 Tokyo summit accords on Zimbabwe and that this posed questions about Russia's reliability as a partner in the G8," government spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement.

"We consider such statements unacceptable," he added.

In a separate statement, the Russian foreign ministry condemned violence but warned the proposed UN resolution would have set a "dangerous precedent" for interference in countries' internal affairs.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said they would shift to the European Union to see what further action to take against Zimbabwe.

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