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World Briefing / Australia

Aid to Zimbabwe unity government

March 12, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Australia said it would provide funding to Zimbabwe's new unity government, the first Western power to announce direct support for the new administration.

Australia previously gave Zimbabwe humanitarian assistance through aid agencies but did not provide direct funding to the government headed by President Robert Mugabe. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai became prime minister in February.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith said Australia recognized that there were risks to the new policy and was "under no illusions about the fragility of the political situation in Zimbabwe."

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