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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sweden wants House to discuss national matters
by Zainah Liwanda, 09 March 2006 - 06:05:15
New Swedish High Commissioner to Malawi Sten Rylander has pleaded with Malawi Parliament to set aside political bickering and discuss issues of national interest when the House resumes sitting next month.
Rylander made the appeal at New State House in Lilongwe on Wednesday after presenting his letters of credence to President Bingu wa Mutharika.
“I discussed with the President the role of Parliament, and I hope that [the House] could come back to normal and discuss what is in national interest for Malawi instead of engaging in political bickering, impeachment and things like that. Come together as a nation, that’s my advice to you,” said Rylander.
The envoy said much as the opposition and government may have dissenting views, it was important that national issues are prioritised for the good of the country.
Rylander described the relationship between Sweden and Malawi as cordial as manifested by the assistance his country provides to Malawi.
The high commissioner said he also informed the President that his country’s assistance to Malawi has passed the US$50m mark.
“We are just about to take a decision on budgetary support. I had a very good meeting with your President. I congratulate you for having such a good President. We have been impressed to see him fight for accountability, against corruption, for development, democracy and I think you also have good economic policies,” he added.
The envoy further commended Mutharika for appointing Goodall Gondwe as finance minister, describing him as “experienced and professional.”
Speaking earlier, the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, based in Zimbabwe, Riffat Iqbal, said she discussed with the President how to expand the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The envoy said the relationship between Malawi and her country dates back to the struggle for independence.
“Pakistan supported Malawi in its struggle for independence. There are many areas in which our co-operation can be increased, especially trade, and economic cooperation and also our political relationship,” she said.
Iqbal further explained that she also briefed the President about international issues, such as the Pakistan and India peace dialogue and efforts to combat international terrorism.

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