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Zimbabwe not on agenda of Earth Summit
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2002

ZIMBABWE’S land issue will be kept off the agenda of the Earth Summit amid reports that Namibian President Sam Nujoma was preparing to get tough with what he called "arrogant white farmers" who were resisting his country’s land reforms.

South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Aziz Pahad said his country, which is chairing the summit, was determined to keep the agenda focused on such issues as sustainable development, ending poverty and environmental degradation.

"We hope that no particular issue, whether it is Zimbabwe or the situation in the Middle East, should detract us from the fundamental issues which people have come here to discuss," Mr Pahad said.

Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Tichaona Jokonya, who is attending the summit, said the country was not on the agenda of the gathering.

"Zimbabwe is not on the agenda. We resisted that move despite efforts by some countries for it to be placed on the agenda," Mr Jokonya told The Herald in Johannesburg.

Mr Pahad said South African President Mr Thabo Mbeki would only hold discussions on Zimbabwe with Australian Prime Minister Mr John Howard and Nigerian President General Olusegun Obasanjo at the "earliest opportunity" after the summit.

The three leaders constitute a troika mandated by the Commonwealth to deal with the Zimbabwean issue.

Mr Pahad’s statement comes in the wake of efforts by Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to put Zimbabwe on the agenda of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. MORE

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