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Zimbabwe FM Tendai Biti in Appeal to US, International Financial Institutions


US and World Bank officials said they would also ask Zimbabwean FM Biti for a progress report on democratic reforms, the stalemate in the Harare power-sharing government and the troubled constitutional revision process

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada were set to meet with US and top international financial officials in Washington Thursday seeking development aid and debt relief.

US and World Bank officials said they would also ask Biti for a progress report on democratic reforms, the stalemate in the Harare power-sharing government and the troubled constitutional revision process.

The United States and Europe have withheld major development aid - and private investors have withheld capital - pending convincing evidence that Zimbabwe has turned the corner on human rights and the rule of law.

But Biti told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that he is confident the World Bank will help Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, signaling mounting economic distress at home, Harare political sources said the Cabinet asked Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last week to go to Beijing to seek Chinese investment, but he declined to go.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, tasked with the trek to Beijing, said in an interview about his mission that China represents the economic future.

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