Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss bilateral issues and the state of Harare's unity government, among other issues.
Mr Tsvangirai arrived in Washington on Sunday ahead of an event Monday evening honoring him for his efforts to restore democracy in Zimbabwe. The National Democratic Institute has named him a winner of the 2010 W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award, in company with Colombia’s Network of Choco Women.
In brief comments, Clinton said the United States continues to support efforts for reform in Zimbabwe and praised Mr Tsvangirai for moving Zimbabwe in the right direction. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation and in response to a reporter's question commented on Monday's decision in Harare High Court finding that the state didn't have sufficient evidence to continue to prosecute his aide Roy Bennett for alleged treason.
"I’m delighted to welcome the Prime Minister back to Washington. We had very productive meetings last time when he was here. We continue to support the efforts for reform and positive changes inside Zimbabwe," said Clinton in welcoming Mr Tsvangirai to the State Department. "And of course, the Prime Minister has played a major role in attempting to move his country on the right path. So again, welcome, Prime Minister."
Regarding the Bennett verdict, Mr. Tsvangirai remarked: "Well, it’s good news. It’s very positive. As I’ve always said, he’s not being prosecuted; he’s being persecuted. So I hope that the persecution has ended."
He said there is more to do to restore confidence in the unity government.
Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Mr. Tsvangirai’s formation of the Movement for Democratic Change, said the former opposition party is pleased that its leader is being recognized after years of struggle.