Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Peter Mutharika (PM), says he has “opened the lines” of official communication with neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique in a bid to mend diplomatic fences
Malawi wedged between Tanzania, Zambia, аnd Mozambique, hаѕ bееn іn a number of diplomatic disputes іn recent years, ranging from to relations with former colonial master Britain, to neighbouring Zambia and Mozambique.
But Mutharika, a brother to President Bingu wa Mutharika and heir apparent, said he has started diplomatic efforts to resolve any misunderstanding between Malawi and her neighbours including Britain.
He said on arrival from Australia where he attended the Commonwealth Heads of State Summit that he “sought the meeting with Mozambican and Zambian foreign affairs ministers to improve the bilateral relations which have been strained over some issues.”
Malawi and Zambia diplomatic relations have been strained since Michael Sata was elected president last month.
On March 15, 2007, the Mutharika government deported Sata from Malawi shortly after arrival; a development Sata believed was politically-inclined. Sata demanded an explanation and an apology from Malawi.
Malawi has since withdrawn the prohibited immigrant status of president Sata.
Mutharika however a said the deportation of Sata “was an incident that happened for other reasons” and that Malawi now recognises him as Head of State.
Malawi and Mozambique had diplomatic tiff over the Shire-Zambezi waterway. Malawi accused Mozambique of breaking agreements on making a “trial run” to prove the navigability of the waterway, from the Indian Ocean to the Malawian inland port of Nsanje.
The government also claimed that fuel shortages in Malawi were caused by the ongoing repairs to the bridge over the Zambezi in Tete city, the claims which were trashed by Mozambique authorities.
Mutharika said officials will “keep on talking” to ensure smooth relations are normalised.
He also said dialogue with Britain “is going on” following his meeting with UK foreign secretary William Hague in London last month.
Mutharika said government was addressing concerns of governance and human rights.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :