David Ford said: “Alliance has now established informal links with Morgan Tsvangirai’s party. He is an inspiration to us all and must be given the chance to lead Zimbabwe to a better future. Alliance sent a representative to the MDC meeting in Belfast on Sunday night and it was extremely constructive for all.
“The local MDC branch was galvanised by events last Friday and there was a large turnout on Sunday.
“The MDC deserve global support in their campaign to create a peaceful Zimbabwe which protects human rights and equality. I am pleased that up to now they have been supported by the Africa Liberal Network and Liberal International.
“Friday’s visit was a historic one for Northern Ireland and I believe that local people can be inspired by it and can build on the hope it offered. I am delighted that Alliance now has direct links with Zimbabweans working for democracy.
“Morgan Tsvangirai’s speech was very moving, highlighting the need for national reconciliation and not just an electoral victory. He was extending the hand of friendship to those who were previously enemies.
“Alliance aims to work closely with the MDC and we will both gain from sharing each other’s experience.”