April 23, 2018 / 4:27 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Zimbabwe committed to clearing debt obligations -Moyo

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LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is committed to clearing its debt obligations with the World Bank, African Development Bank and other financial institutions, Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo said on Monday.

The country needs to clear about $1.8 billion in arrears with the World Bank and the African Development Bank before it can tap other sources of development financing.

“We are committed to engaging with these key institutions as partners for growth in Zimbabwe, committed to clearing the outstanding debt with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, among others,” said Moyo, speaking in London at a Chatham House event. “We believe that we are going to be able to meet all of our obligations.”

In 2016, Zimbabwe paid off 15 years’ worth of arrears to the International Monetary Fund.

Moyo added that Zimbabwe was in the process of re-establishing its membership of the Commonwealth, to which it believed it would belong again in due course.

Zimbabwe left the organisation of 53 mostly former British colonies in 2003 after then-President Robert Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe from its independence in 1980, was criticised over disputed elections and land seizures from white farmers.

Britain said on Friday it would strongly support Zimbabwe’s re-entry to the Commonwealth after Mugabe was toppled in a military coup.

Reporting by Claire Milhench and Zandi Shabalala Editing by Mark Heinrich

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