The former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in today as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Mr Tsvangirai's swearing-in was preceded by a tough struggle to reach a power-sharing deal between the Mugabe regime and the opposition. In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (11 February):
"I welcome the appointment of Morgan Tsvangirai as new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. The new unity Government faces huge challenges. The country, which is on its knees, desperately needs a fresh start, while more than anything else ordinary people need their humanitarian and economic situation to improve.
I expect Robert Mugabe and his party in particular to honour the new agreement so that the country's problems can be resolutely tackled. Furthermore, the new Government must lead Zimbabwe back to the path of democracy and respect for human rights.
One thing is clear: we will judge the new unity Government by its actions. We are willing to assist Zimbabwe as it works towards a better future."
Read more on Germany's bilateral relations to Zimbabwe: