United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray has made a new diplomatic overture to the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, expressing his desire to cultivate better relations between the party and the US government.
The US embassy said Ray met on Thursday with ZANU-PF Chairman Simon Khaya-Moyo and reiterated the message he had conveyed in recent dialogue sessions in Harare and second city Bulawayo indicating Washington does not support or oppose any single party in Zimbabwe but wants to see the democratic process take hold there.
“The US will continue to engage with the people of Zimbabwe and any political party or individual that wins the next election as long as the election is credible and non-violent, reflects the will of the people, and is honored in implementation," he said.
Ray noted that while there are some restrictions on what the United States can do in Zimbabwe, “he is committed to cooperating on the broad array of areas in which the US and Zimbabwe share a common interest, including in the areas of promoting national stability and economic growth," said a statement issued by the US Embassy.
Simon Khaya Moyo told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that ZANU-PF has no animosity towards the United States, though sanctions targeting President Mugabe and about 200 senior officials of his party remain an issue from the party's standpoint.
Ray was not immediately available for further comment, but his remarks to Moyo hewed closely to statements he made on Tuesday in a public forum in Bulawayo.