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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 21, 2001

President Signs Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act
Statement by the President

Today I have signed into law S. 494, the "Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001." This Act symbolizes the clear bipartisan resolve in the United States to promoting human rights, good governance, and economic development in Africa. My Administration shares fully the Congress' deep concerns about the political and economic hardships visited upon Zimbabwe by that country's leadership. I hope the provisions of this important legislation will support the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle to effect peaceful democratic change, achieve economic growth, and restore the rule of law.

Section 4(c) of the Act purports to direct the executive branch to oppose and vote against the extension of loans or the cancellation of debt in international financial institutions unless and until I make a certification or national interest determination. I am concerned that this provision burdens my constitutional authority in the area of foreign affairs to conduct negotiations and cast votes in international organizations. I will construe the provision as being subject to my exclusive authority to negotiate or vote in international financial institutions.

December 21, 2001.

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