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EU relaxes Zimbabwe sanctions

Feb 18 2013 18:04 AFP

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Brussels - European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to lift some sanctions against Zimbabwe to reward its ongoing political reform process, EU officials said.

EU foreign ministers lifted an asset freeze and travel ban against 21 Zimbabweans out of 112 currently on an EU blacklist and also struck one of 11 firms off the list, the officials said.

The agreement comes 48 hours before the expiry of sanctions against the regime.

Zimbabwe last week announced it would hold a vote on a new constitution next month and elections in July.

Zanu-PF slams decision

President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party dismissed as "outrageous and preposterous" the decision to only lift some sanctions against Zimbabwe.

"ZANU-PF will never accept any conditional removal of the illegal sanction or any self-serving initiatives meant to advance the economic interests of western nations," party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said in a statement.

"Lifting of the illegal sanctions must be unconditional and total. We believe that the current move to partially lift the illegal sanctions is intended to serve the interests of nations that want rough diamonds from our mines."

Gumbo said the partial lifting of sanctions was a western ploy to divide his party adding that the sanctions were illegal as they were not approved by the UN.

He said his party would continue to push for the total lifting of the sanctions.

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european union  |  zimbabwe  |  sanctions
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