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Robert Mugabe still our good friend: Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson

Mugabe, 93, resigned yesterday, after 37-years of authoritarian rule following the military takeover and public pressure

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe

today said outgoing Zimbabwe President is still its "good friend" and respect his choice to resign, lauding the contributions made by the African leader for bilateral ties during his authoritarian rule. "Mugabe has long been committed to the friendship between and Zimbabwe and China-Africa and made important contributions in this regard," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang told media briefing here. "So we respect his choice to resign and he is still our good friend," Lu said. Mugabe made the historic contribution to the national independence and liberation cause in Zimbabwe and an advocate of pan-Africa movement, he said. Mugabe, 93, resigned yesterday, after 37-years of authoritarian rule following the military takeover and public pressure. last week played down the significance of the visit of General Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to Beijing ahead of his move to take control of power saying that it was part of the normal military exchanges. After Chiwenga took control, Mugabe was put under house arrest. also denied reports that Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited Beijing before the military take over. Mnangagwa was widely tipped to take over power after Mugabe's resignation. "I can only tell you that his visit is a normal military exchange mutually agreed upon by and Zimbabwe", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media here on November 15. is the biggest investor in Zimbabwe besides sharing extensive political and military ties during the over 37-year long tenure of Mugabe. Lu also rebuffed the calls by the US and the UK to hold free and fair elections after Mugabe's exit saying that other countries should refrain from interfering in Zimbabwe's domestic affairs. upholds the principle of non-interference in internal affairs in other countries and we respect the choice of Zimbabwe people. "We also hope that other countries could refrain from interfering in its domestic affairs," he said. About the speculation that Mnangagwa was tipped to succeed Mugabe, Lu said, "We respect the choice made by its people. We will not interfere in their domestic affairs.

The Friendly cooperation between and Zimbabwe is the comprehensive one and it benefits the two sides." He said the friendly cooperation between and Zimbabwe is the comprehensive one. "It benefits the two sides. Our friendly policy towards Zimbabwe will not change. We will continue the policy of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. Strengthen cooperation and elevate our bilateral relations," he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 22 2017. 15:25 IST
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