Mugabe Meets US Congressmen

Speaking to journalists soon after the meeting, leader of the delegation Greg Meeks said his country would lift economic sanctions on Zimbabwe once it was satisfied that parties in the inclusive government had fulfilled conditions in the Global Political Agreement.

"We are optimistic that both sides deal with the GPA and once that is done it is OK with the United States," he said.

Meeks said the U.S. government was following events in Zimbabwe closely and would do everything to assist parties in the GPA to resolve issues that were threatening the survival of the inclusive government.

However, sources close to the meeting said President Robert Mugabe was shocked that the Congressmen had visited just to greet him and not to hear his views on the situation in the country.

The Congressmen met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday.

"It is clear that the visit was meant to obviate the fact that they had come to meet one party in the GPA," said the source. The source said President Mugabe was shocked when the Congressmen interrupted him while he was in the middle of briefing them, saying they had to leave as they were running behind time to catch their chartered plane back to the U.S..

When they emerged from the meeting, President Mugabe could be heard telling the Congressmen that he did not see the reason why they had bothered to visit him if it was just to greet him.

The U.S. Congressmen, made up of four Democrats and one Republican, were on a mission to find out the role they could play to improve relations between Zimbabwe and the U.S..