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EU eases restrictions on Zimbabwe

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

EU eases restrictions on Zimbabwe

The EU will immediately suspend the travel ban imposed on 6 Members of the Government of Zimbabwe, and delist other 21 persons subject to restrictive measures, as a way of recognizing the significance of the agreement reached between the political parties in Zimbabwe on a final draft constitution and the announcement of a referendum.
Also, if Zimbabwe will hold democratic elections in June, it might be able to start re-selling diamonds and gold to Belgium and UK, after the diamond supplier Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) was also taken off the EU's blacklist. Belgium, is the home of  largest diamond exchange, and UK, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe. This delisting is to take effect a month after the July elections.
The EU declares to be ready to further adjust its policy to recognize progress as it is made by the Zimbabwean parties along the SADC Roadmap.
Thus, a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum would represent an important milestone justifying an immediate suspension of the majority of all remaining EU targeted restrictive measures against individuals and entities, EU foreign ministers affirm.
The sanctions were originally imposed a decade ago- in 2002- in response to human rights abuses and political violence, after alleged electoral fraud by president Robert Mugabe. The EU partially eased the sanctions last year by removing a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of the targeted 150 people and 20 of 30 companies on the sanctions list.

Source: EUobserver, Council of the European Union