France welcomed Robert Mugabe’s decision to resign as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, its foreign ministry saying it was ready to help the country deal with its political transition in cooperation with African and international partners.
“We welcome this decision, which must now pave the way for a peaceful political transition, respectful of the legitimate aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Romatet-Espagne said in a statement.
The 93-year-old Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, with ZANU-PF urging him to go. He finally resigned moments after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out.
Wild celebrations broke out at a joint sitting of parliament when Speaker Jacob Mudenda read out Mugabe’s brief resignation letter. Mugabe, confined to his Harare residence, did not appear.
People danced in the streets of Harare and car horns blared at the news that the era of Mugabe — who had led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 — was finally over.