Key to meet with Zimbabwe leader this week

Prime Minister John Key is set to meeting with his Zimbabwean counterpart Morgan Tsvangirai when he visits New Zealand this week.

Mr Tsvangirai was a key opposition figure and leading democracy advocate in Zimbabwean politics.

His party MDC-T entered into coalition government with the Robert Mugabe-led Zanu-PF following a disputed election in 2008.

Mr Key said Mr Tsvangirai's visit would offer a chance to talk about repairing the relationship between New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

"Mr Tsvangirai has been at the forefront of efforts to open up democracy in Zimbabwe."

"We will discuss the situation in Zimbabwe, including work on a new constitution and the outlook for the next elections. The visit will also allow us to consider how we might rebuild the bilateral relationship, in the right political environment."

New Zealand imposed bilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe in protest at the Mugabe regime's human rights abuses in 2002.

Mr Tsvangirai is the first member of the Zimbabwean Government to make a formal visit to New Zealand for more than a decade.

He will meet Mr Key and other senior ministers on Wednesday.


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