Ahmadinejad expected in Zimbabwe

April 22, 2010 12:00 am

, HARARE, Apr 22 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in Zimbabwe on Thursday to sign a raft of trade and cooperation agreements with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Zimbabwe\’s foreign minister said.

"The memorandum of understanding will officially be signed by the two presidents tomorrow (Thursday) together with the other trade agreements," said Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi late Wednesday during a Zimbabwe-Iran joint commission meeting.

The Iranian leader will proceed to open Zimbabwe\’s main trade fair in the second city of Bulawayo on Friday.

The two countries also agreed to form joint ventures in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining and water management sectors, according to a communique issued after the meeting.

"The joint commission agreed to establish a joint investment company to identify and implement projects of mutual benefit to the two countries including in the areas of banking, finance and insurance," it said.

The trade fair was a major calendar event in Zimbabwe, but has become more localised in recent years as the country has battled an economic crisis which saw inflation reach 231 million percent.

Zimbabwe enjoys good relations with Iran as well as several east Asian countries after launching a "Look East" policy in response to its isolation by the West following Harare\’s controversial land reforms and disputed 2002 polls.


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