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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 01, 1986

RELATIONS BETWEEN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    A brief overview of the political, economic and cultural relations between Bulgaria and Zimbabwe. Some of the items mentioned are meetings between Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the creation of the Bulgarian-Zimbabwean Parliamentary Association, a visit to Zimbabwe by leading Bulgarian politician Grisha Filipov, trade and economic agreements between the two countries, a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Georgi Dimitrov (the first Communist leader of Bulgaria), and Bulgarian outreach to Zimbabwean students.
    "Relations between the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Zimbabwe," February 01, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archives, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Foreign Policy & International Relations Department (FPRID) Records, 1967-1989. Translated by Vanya Petkova. Edited by Dr. Jordan Baev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114381
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Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Information re: Relations between Bulgaria and Zimbabwe, Sofia, February 1986

86/02/25

RN 93 00 165 29.01.86

IND 7- 168- P- 4

RELATIONS BETWEEN

PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA

AND REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE

POLITICAL

The diplomatic relations with the Republic of Zimbabwe are established in the day of its independence proclamation 18 April 1980. The Ambassador of Zimbabwe in SR of Romania is accredited to our state, too.

During the national liberation struggle PR of Bulgaria rendered help to the Zimbabwean African National Union (ZANU). In this period Joshua Nkomo visited Bulgaria several times. The meeting of comrade Todor Zhivkov with Robert Mugabe in Angola /1987/ greatly contributed to the development of bilateral relations after Zimbabwean independence proclamation as well as contacts' consolidation with ZANU. In 1979, not long before proclamation of Zimbabwean independence, R. Mugabe visited Bulgaria at the invitation of comrade Todor Zhivkov. In November

1981 Robert Mugabe visited our country as Prime Minister. He made a short business visit on August 31st and September 1st, this year.

The relations between CC BCP and CC ZANU /P.F./ developed well. In January 1984 was signed the second Protocol for Co-operation between them.

Relations are established between the Parliaments of both countries and between our and Zimbabwean social organizations, too. A Protocol for Co-operation between the Trade Unions of Bulgaria and Zimbabwe is signed. Delegations led by head party and state leaders are exchanged.

Bulgarian-Zimbabwean Parliamentary Association is created and is functioning. It is a unique event within Zimbabwean political life.

In July 1984 at the head of party and government delegation, comrade Grisha Filipov made official friendly visit to the Republic of Zimbabwe. During the visit, besides the adopted bilateral Communique and a Protocol on the economic questions talks, there were signed: Cultural and Scientific Co-operation Plan for the period 1984-1986 and Agreement between National Agrarian Economic Union /NAEU/ of PR of Bulgaria and Ministry of Land, Resettlement and Rural Development of Republic of Zimbabwe for creation of joint Bulgarian-Zimbabwean agrarian-industrial enterprise.

ECONOMIC

Only a few months after Zimbabwean independence proclamation a Trade Agreement and a Contract for Economic and R&D Co-operation were signed between the two states. During the visit of R. Mugabe in Bulgaria Main Directions for economic cooperation development between Republic of Zimbabwe and PR of Bulgaria were signed for the period 1981-1985 as well as an Agreement for Co-operation in the air traffic field. The economic group "BGA" /Bulgarian Civil Aviation/ is the only socialist state aviation company that flies to Harare.

The trade between the two countries develops comparatively slowly. In 1985 [it's] equals to 2,66 million currency levs, out of which the export is 848 thousand currency levs (machine-building production, selenium rectifiers, serums) and the import is 1,726 million currency levs (asbestos, raw coffee).

Joint Interdepartmental Commission for Economic and R&D co-operation is established. Its first session was carried out in June 1984 in Harare. There an Agreement for rendering of technical and scientific assistance was signed for sending

of specialists from PR of Bulgaria to the Republic of Zimbabwe.

In August 1985 in Sofia the Second Session of the Joint Commission was carried out. The signed Protocol envisages building of an agrarian enterprise in Zimbabwe with Bulgarian help as well as co-operation in the field of agriculture, foodstuffs industry and mine industry.

CULTURAL

The cultural relations are developing well on the basis of the Cultural Agreement and the Plan for its application as well as the Co-operation Agreement between the radio and TV agencies and an Agreement between the Information Agencies of both states.

In 1981 PR of Bulgaria gave to the Republic of Zimbabwe 3 million currency levs in the form of scholarships for Zimbabwean youths education in our schools.

Periodically different exhibitions on our part are made in Harare and in other big centers of the country.

In order to celebrate the 1300-year anniversary of Bulgarian State creation a National Committee was created in Zimbabwe, headed by Sali Mugabe. George Dimitrov' s 100-year anniversary was celebrated, too. Zimbabwe participated in the events of the International Children Assembly "Peace Banner" and is one of the founders of Ljudmila Zhivkova International Foundation. It presented its own pavilion at the International Hunting Exhibition carried out in the town of Plovdiv in 1981.

During the present year in our Universities 53 Zimbabwean students are educated. Each year we accept 12 young people for education in our Universities.

Sofia, 1 February 1986