indian ambassador.jpgThe Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr. Ashok Venkatesan has applauded the speech made by the Head of State and Government and Commander in Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces President Robert Mugabe,on the occasion to commemorate Africa Day saying the Indian government supports his stance on the need to ensure that local people benefit from their country’s natural resources.   

In an interview with ZBC News, Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr. Ashok Venkatesan paid tribute to the speech delivered by Cde Mugabe on the commemoration of Africa Day on 25 May.

 

“President Mugabe is well known for remaining resolute on issues that are for the good of his people and we applaud him for that. We also support his views that local people must benefit from their countrys’ resources,”said Mr Venkatesan.  
 
Mr. Venkatesan said his country supports Zimbabwe in obtaining the approval through the KP process and expressed optimism that the Kimberley processing monitor Mr Abbey Chikane who is currently in the country will give a favourable report in view of the fact that Zimbabwe is not in conflict and Zimbabwe’s diamonds cannot be classified as conflict diamonds.

 

“India appreciates the sensitivities associated with the issue and will take decisions based on facts. As we believe the Kimberly Process has sought a joint work plan its participants and the government of Zimbabwe,”said Ambassador Venkatesan.

 

India supported Zimbabwe at the last Kimberley Processing plenary meeting held last year in Namibia. However Mr Venkatesan could not be drawn to comment if India would buy diamonds directly from Zimbabwe if the Kimberley Process certification scheme does not give the seal of approval to Zimbabwe.

 

He also said the issue is still under review and to the best of his knowledge there has not been any negative views expressed by the KP towards Zimbabwe’s diamonds.

 

India has a long standing relationship with Zimbabwe and there is bilateral co-operation in the areas of education, training, capacity building, technology transfer and investment.