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Friday, April 24, 2009

U.S. ends Zimbabwe travel warning

Last Friday the United States lifted its travel warning for Zimbabwe, saying conditions were improving in the troubled African nation.

The US State Department denied making any political overture to veteran President Robert Mugabe, who has been pushing for the United States and other Western nations to remove separate economic sanctions.

"The political and economic situation is still unpredictable but we lifted the restrictions because there was a return of basic medical, food and fuel services," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.

"We're obviously going to continue to monitor the situation and if we feel we need to provide another travel advisory or warning we will certainly do so," Wood said.

"There is no political dynamic. We are just gauging the situation as we see it on the ground," he added.

Travel warnings by the United States and other Western nations have contributed to a slump in Zimbabwe's tourism sector, traditionally a major money-maker for the country.

A trip to Zimbabwe has to be taken with care and caution but we hope that this may be the beginning of an upturn in Zimbabwe's fortunes. Tourism may once again provide a much-needed livelihood for thousands of impoverished Zimbabweans. We look forward to contributing to that in the years ahead.

U.S. Department of State: Zimbabwe



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