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Zimbabwe should sever Australia ties, media says

Zimbabwe should sever Australia ties, media says

Zimbabwe's state media yesterday called on the government to sever ties with Australia, accusing Australian Prime Minister John Howard's government of seeking to topple veteran Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.
"There is no need to continue keeping up appearances when diplomatic ties between the two countries have irrevocably broken down," the state-run Herald said in its editorial.
"The only remaining option for Zimbabwe is to shut down our mission in Sydney and order the Australian embassy in Harare to pack up and go."
The editorial comes amid a visit to Australia by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, who held talks earlier this week with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
Were the government to follow the Herald's advice, it would be the first time that Zimbabwe has broken off diplomatic relations since independence in 1980.
The government mouthpiece said Australia had "done everything it can to effect illegal regime change in Zimbabwe," accusing it of openly siding with the MDC which it called "imperial Britain's puppet opposition."
"The Australian government has not made it a secret that it is working to subvert the same government it purports to have relations with while we have continued to pretend that bilateral relations still exist between the two countries," the paper added.
"The question is, what do we stand to benefit by maintaining diplomatic relations with such a racist country that imposes barbaric sanctions on innocent children and sports people."
After his meeting with Tsvangirai in the southern Australian city of Adelaide on Tuesday, Downer made clear that Canberra wanted a change of regime in Harare.
"We would like to see the back of Mugabe, there is no question of that," Downer said.
"Most objective observers would say that President Mugabe has pretty much come to his use-by date."
Relations between the two countries have become increasingly strained and hit a new low in May when Zimbabwe, furious at the cancelation of a cricket tour, accused Canberra of funding "terrorist activities."
Earlier this month, Australia said it was canceling the student visas of eight Zimbabweans whose parents have links with Mugabe's government.


Updated : 2021-05-15 17:44 GMT+08:00