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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Biti Makes Case to Senior U.S. Diplomats

Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti stepped up efforts Friday to convince the American government as well as international financial institutions that enough change has taken place in Harare for them to go past humanitarian assistance to funding reconstruction.

In Washington for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Biti met with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mary Jo Willis.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood told Reuters before the meeting that it "does not signal any kind of change," adding that "there are a number of things we have to see yet" in Harare before the U.S. government will consider providing development aid.

Biti told VOA that he was to meet senior aides to President Barack Obama on Monday.

He told reporter Brenda Moyo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that he wants to assert the new Harare government's credibility, make the case for funding its critical programs, and re-establish Zimbabwe as a full-fledged member of the international community.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...