Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: European Union Lays Accent On Peace, Religious Tolerance

Photo: The Daily News
President Jakaya Kikwete (left) speaks to a government official (file photo).

THE European Union (EU) ambassadors have called for strict evaluation of the objectives of any social group seeking registration, saying the country must cherish peace and stability.

Briefing reporters after a joint EU - Tanzania Political Dialogue held at the Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam , the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, said the meeting also deliberated on a range of issues meant to strengthen cooperation between the two sides.

Making reference to recent chaos in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, Mr Membe said the situation was reviewed during the discussion and it was agreed that cooperation between the government, religious denominations, non-governmental organizations and other social groups should be maintained to avoid hostility.

However, the minister was explicit on the government position with regard to scrutinizing of the objectives of any social group seeking registration. "Every citizen and well-wishers have the obligation to help protect the country's peace and security.

The government is ready to listen to any genuine complaints as long as they are properly channelled," Membe said. Commenting on the present status of the dispute on Lake Nyasa border, Membe said diplomatic means was the best option on the table to iron out the border issue between Tanzania and Malawi.

"Tanzania does not intend to go to war with a neighbouring country on a matter that can be resolved diplomatically," he said. Clarifying on the ongoing efforts to reach amicable solution to the dispute, the minister said representatives from Malawi have arrived in the country ready for tomorrow's joint meeting with their host.

"The discussion will be conducted in a friendly manner. Legal experts and other professionals in conflict resolution will help strike a balance. But if we agree to disagree then the matter will be taken to the International Court of Justice for determination," Membe explained.

He said ownership of Lake Nyasa was not different from that of Lake Victoria. Lake Nyasa is shared by Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. "No country has the right to claim its total ownership," he concluded.

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