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Italy seeks support to host World Expo

President Mnangagwa meets Italian Special Envoy Pietro Mininni at State House in Harare yesterday

President Mnangagwa meets Italian Special Envoy Pietro Mininni at State House in Harare yesterday.— Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

Blessings Chidakwa Herald Reporter

A DELEGATION from Italy yesterday met President Mnangagwa to seek Zimbabwe’s support in its bid to host the World Expo in 2030 with elections to choose the winning city and country scheduled for next month.

Those in the race to host are Busan in the Republic of Korea, Rome in Italy, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Speaking after paying a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare yesterday, the delegation, led by special envoy Mr Pietro Mininni said they believe Rome, which is among the most visited cities in the world, deserves to host.

“We paid a visit to Harare to promote the candidacy of Rome to host the World Expo in 2030. We expect the final vote to take place at the end of November in Paris,” he said.

Mr Mininni, who was accompanied by Italy’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Umberto Malnati and deputy head of mission Mr Masimo Ahadeo said they hope Zimbabwe will support their bid.

“Italy and Zimbabwe benefit from historical relations for decades not only from an institutional point of view, but also in the domain of the economy, art, and culture.

“So, we are not new in Zimbabwe, we are not new in the region, Africa we have very good relationships,” he said.

Mr Mininni said they will continue canvassing for votes in the region.

He said Italy is committed to its candidacy, and their delegation will tour countries across Africa mobilising other public and private sector stakeholders.

A Saudi Arabia delegation bidding for its capital city Riyadh, also met President Mnangagwa on Monday seeking support to host the same World Expo and the 2034 Soccer World Cup.

The host country will be elected by Bureau International des Expositions member States, during the 173rd General Assembly taking place on 28 November 2023, on the principle of one country, one vote.

Herald

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