WELLINGTON, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai made a compelling case for suspending sanctions against his country, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said after talks between the two Wednesday.
Tsvangirai put the case for lifting financial and other sanctions in a meeting with Key during a visit to New Zealand, Radio New Zealand reported.
Tsvangirai told Key about the progress in Zimbabwe, where he has a power-sharing relationship with President Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai said it made sense to suspend the sanctions pending free and fair elections, which he anticipated would happen within next year, according to the report.
Key said New Zealand could help with the elections and would seek advice on whether New Zealand would lift or suspend the sanctions.
New Zealand imposed targeted bilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 in protest at the Mugabe regime's human rights abuses.
A leader of the movement for democratic change and formerly a key opposition figure in Zimbabwean politics, Tsvangirai led his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in a power-sharing deal with Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in 2008.
Tsvangirai is the first member of the Zimbabwean government to formally visit New Zealand for more than a decade.(Xinhua)