News and Information

US Envoy to Pursue Democracy
July 16, 2004

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

July 16, 2004
Posted to the web July 16, 2004

Gift Phiri

UNITED States ambassador-designate to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell has said he will use constructive engagement to ensure that Zimbabwe does not become a failed state.

Contrary to a Herald story published on Tuesday claiming that Dell recently told the US Senate that he would want to effect a "regime change" in Zimbabwe, Dell told the committee on Foreign Relations that he would want to restore Zimbabwe to the democratic community of nations.

"If confirmed," he said, "I would work to protect Americans and American interests, to help bring Zimbabwe back from the brink of political, economic, social, and humanitarian disaster, to foster conservation of its world heritage wildlife resources, and to restore Zimbabwe as a suitable partner for the United States and a friend in the pursuit of democracy, stability, and prosperity."

Dell, who is coming to Zimbabwe from Angola, said Washington had a clear interest in seeing Zimbabwe emerge from the current crisis as a "pluralistic society, a contributor to regional stability, and an engine for African growth".

The envoy said there was need for dialogue between Zimbabwe's political parties to resolve the country's deepening economic and political crisis.

He never used the term "regime change" as the Herald claimed in its story.

The state-controlled newspaper also recently claimed British prime minister Tony Blair told parliament he was working with the opposition MDC to stage a "regime change" in Zimbabwe when he never used those words.

"Ideally, dialogue between the government and opposition would level the political playing field and lead to new, free and fair, internationally monitored elections," Dell said.

"Such a result would reward and reaffirm the Zimbabwean people's faith in democracy and set the country back on the path to stability and prosperity." Dell has been in the diplomatic service for 23 years, including his current assignment as ambassador to Angola. He previously served as the designated chief of mission in Kosovo and twice as deputy chief of mission in Bulgaria and Mozambique.

Dell will replace Joseph Sullivan who is expected to leave Zimbabwe soon.


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