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Cablegate: "African Diplomats" Criticize Travel Warning

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000241

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR ZI
SUBJECT: "AFRICAN DIPLOMATS" CRITICIZE TRAVEL WARNING

1. A page-onearticle in the February 1 edition of
the government-owned daily "The Herald" claims that
"African heads of missions in Zimbabwe" are critical
of the January 27 U.S. travel warning on Zimbabwe.
Excerpts follow:

2. "African ambassadors and High Commissioners
accredited to Zimbabwe have lambasted the United
States Government's call for its citizens not to
visit Zimbabwe saying the move was a deliberate ploy
to derail the hosting of World Cup Cricket matches
to be played in the country this month. The diplomats
said the travel warning by the U.S. government was
misleading because the current situation in the
country did not pose any security threat to anyone who
wished to visit Zimbabwe. In a statement, the African
Group of Ambassadors and High Commissioners said they
were deeply concerned about the U.S. warning, as it
did not give a true picture of the real situation
prevailing in the country. In fact, Zimbabwe as a destination is far
safer than the security situation obtained in some capitals of
those countries that are on the forefront of isolating
Zimbabwe,' read part of the statement issued by the
Dean of the African Heads of Missions, Mr. Ndali-Che
Kamati (Namibia's High Commissioner to Zimbabwe) . . .
We believe that this is not the time to isolate
Zimbabwe, but rather engage the Zimbabwe government
with the view to finding solutions to the challenges
currently facing the country. . . .'"

3. Comment: The "Herald's" assertion to the
contrary, conversation over the weekend with some
African ambassadors makes it clear that the statement
from the Namibian ambassador was not cleared by all of
his African colleagues. End comment.

SULLIVAN

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