The Africa Union (AU) is determined to engage the West over illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, in an effort to guarantee stability in the region.
The move to heighten engagement with the West over the two-decade embargo emerged during a meeting between Acting President Constantino Chiwenga and the AU Panel of the Wise chairperson Mr Amre Moussa at his Munhumutapa Office in Harare yesterday.
Mr Moussa said issues of sanctions against Zimbabwe and other African countries under the same embargo were deliberated in the AU Peace and Security Council, as well as in the Wisemen group.
"The consensus in the AU was that we have to stand firm in support of Zimbabwe for fully lifting of sanctions and all other African countries hit by the same sanctions policy," he said.
Mr Moussa said his team started its mission in Zimbabwe and will be visiting other countries to share notes.
"We will also start our engagements as AU with Brussels, London, Washington, and all the other countries concerned on the other side on the matter," he said.
The discussion with Acting President Chiwenga, Mr Moussa said, was centred on the implications of the sanctions on the economy and development.
"We discussed all that," he said. "The consensus amongst us, AU representatives and the high officials of this country is that we have to work together to lift the sanctions as quickly as we can, otherwise so many policies based on the reforms, future outlooks of policies and the issue of stability in the region will be threatened by the continuation of the system of sanctions."
Mr Moussa said it was not an easy task.
"It is a long way, but is doable," he said. "This is our intention, our determination to work towards that goal, fully lifting the sanctions on Zimbabwe."
The visit by Mr Moussa follows the SADC-organised day of action last year on October 25 to denounce Western sanctions, which President Mnangagwa said had crippled Zimbabwe's development.
Some Sadc countries had activities denouncing the illegal sanctions on the day, according to the regional body's declaration.