Optimism reigns despite Danish embassy decision

Sunday August 29 2021
Mulamula pic

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister LIBERATA MULAMULA PHOTO | COURTESY

By Jacob Mosenda

Dar es Salaam. The government yesterday expressed its optimism that Denmark will continue working closely with Tanzania on development issues. This comes a day after the Danish government disclosed that it will close its embassy in Tanzania in 2024.

A statement from the ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation disclosed that the minister, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula had expressed concern over the Danish move, especially considering the government’s efforts to revive and strengthen diplomatic relations with friendly countries, including Denmark.

ALSO READ: Denmark to close Embassy in Tanzania

Ambassador Mulamula also said the government’s priority was to strengthen the business and investment climate in the country as well as improve democracy and the rule of law.

This followed Thursday’s announcement by the Danish government of its intention to close its embassy in Dar es Salaam in 2024, citing the adjustment of its international presence as one of the reasons for this. The Danish ambassador to Tanzania Mette Norgaard Dissing-Spandet told The Citizen on Thursday that “Today (Thursday) has been a tough day. Denmark has had a special relationship with Tanzania and Tanzanian people for more than a century. It has been a cooperation in many areas…”

ALSO READ: Tanzania saddened by Denmark's decision to close Dar mission by 2024

Advertisement

Minister Mulamula, who is on her official trip in Washington DC, US said during a video conference session with Flemming Moller Mortensen, Denmark’s minister for development co-operation, that Tanzania was saddened by the new twist by Denmark, but remained optimistic that the two countries will continue working together on various development issues.

“Despite the steps taken by Denmark, it is Tanzania’s hope that the Danish government will continue to work with Tanzania on various development issues including supporting Tanzania’s agenda in the European Union, the United Nations and other international platforms,” she said. For his part, Mr Mortensen said it was not easy to reach a decision that stemmed from the Danish government’s new priorities in development cooperation as outlined in its new strategy, “The World We Share.”

According to Mortensen, the new strategy calls on Denmark to work more closely with fragile countries in conflict, displacement and irregular migration, especially in the Sahel, Horn of Africa and neighbouring countries which have political problems.

Similarly, he said with Tanzania having reached a milestone in development, Denmark had decided to work closely with those countries that are most in need. In addition, he explained that the move does not mean the relationship and friendship between Denmark and Tanzania was dying or fading.

“He assured Ambassador Mulamula that Denmark would continue to implement the financial commitments already made to Tanzania and would continue to support efforts to strengthen trade, economic growth, democracy and the private sector,” reads part of the statement.

Tanzania was the first African country with which Denmark initiated a development assistance partnership back in 1963.