Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has arrived in the UK for the COP26 summit.
This is the first time in 25 years that a Zimbabwean leader has set foot in the UK.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the UK became strained during the rule of Mr Mnangagwa’s predecessor, Robert Mugabe, following the take-over of white-owned farms and violence against opposition members.
In a tweet, Mr Mnangagwa thanked UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General António Gueterres for welcoming him to the summit being held in the city of Glasgow in Scotland.
Mr Mnangagwa tweeted a picture of himself with the two, and said that “reengagement is working”.
As the first President of Zimbabwe to visit the United Kingdom in a quarter of a century, it is clear that reengagement is working! 🇿🇼 pic.twitter.com/lZHr6PuWVx
— President of Zimbabwe (@edmnangagwa) November 1, 2021
Critics have dismissed suggestions that the visit is a diplomatic coup for the government.
“This is a UN Climate change summit not a bilateral meeting,” one said..
During the weekend, Mr Mnangagwa told his supporters: “I have been invited by Boris Johnson, and he has indicated he might meet me one on one.”
On Sunday, a Zimbabwean government spokesman posted a video of two UK-based supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party, with trolleys full of cartons of alcohol, to celebrate his arrival.