Malawi’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Peter Mutharika jets in London next week for talks with the British Government to restore full diplomatic relations with Malawi.
Nyasa Times learnt that Peter Mutharika, who is the president’s younger brother and DPP presidential candidate, will connect from United State where he went to represent President Bingu wa Mutharika at the United Nations General Assembly.
Mutharika’s trip to UK is a bid to request the British government to repost its High Commissioner to Malawi and resume its aid.
“We are expecting to hold high level talks with Malawi officials to be led by Foreign Affairs Minister Professor Peter Mutharika on October 12,” British Government officials at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London told Nyasa Times.
Officials at Malawi Foreign Affairs Ministry said Mutharika will connect from United States to London.
“Since he left for New York, the minister did not return to Malawi. Only his personal assistant Ben Phiri came back but he will join the minister in London,” a top government official told Nyasa Times.
“The London meeting is crucial for Malawi. Britain has been a long time bilateral donor to the country and we would like to see fruitful discussions,” said the official.
The relations between Lilongwe and London went sour following President Mutharika’s decision to declare Her Majesty’s envoy – Fergus Cochrane-Dyet- persona non grata after a confidential memo which amended and questioned his leadership and relationship with vice president Joyce Banda was leaked.
Malawi and Britain expelled each other’s envoys in the diplomatic row.
Britain also withdrew all budgetary support to Malawi when its High Commissioner was expelled from the southern African country.