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Sweden refuses SA request to drop Zimbabwe sanctions

AFP/The Local · 12 Sep 2009, 09:19

Published: 12 Sep 2009 09:19 GMT+02:00

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Sweden's development aid minister Gunilla Carlsson will however meet with President Mugabe as well as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as an EU delegation heads to Harare on Saturday.

"I want to be clear: the EU is not prepared (for) lifting the restrictions we have on Zimbabwe," said Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

"It is not the restrictions that are creating problems in Zimbabwe, it is the mismanagement ... not respecting of human rights," he said in response to a question at a public address in Johannesburg.

South African President Jacob Zuma was undeterred by Swedish intransigence and said that he would continue to urge the EU to drop sanctions against its neighbour Zimbabwe.

"We are saying both of us understand where SADC comes from and where the EU

comes from. But we are saying precisely because of that we need to engage so

we can try and persuade the EU to lift sanctions," said Zuma.

The leaders were addressing journalists after talks. The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is on his first state visit to South Africa and is the first head of state to visit the country's new administration.

Reinfeldt has said the European Union will not lift sanctions despite calls by the Southern African Development Community to do so.

"We are here of course to listen and we know the importance of President Zuma and SADC to get the global political agreement respected and fully in place," said Reinfeldt.

Zuma said lifting sanctions would help push forward the process of reaching stability in Zimbabwe.

"Part of what has to happen is that a way should be opened for that agreement to work and one of them is the sanctions," Zuma said of the unity deal between Mugabe and his former rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

"Once you have got sanctions there are things you cannot do in Zimbabwe, but if the sanctions are not there you give more scope for that agreement to be implemented. That is the point we are making," said Zuma.

Story continues below…

Reinfeldt and Zuma agreed that an EU visit to Zimbabwe this weekend was perfect timing and would allow the delegation to reflect on the situation and see what is happening on the ground.

"I think it is important for the EU... to get it from the horse's mouth...so the EU could weigh its decision in relation to the decision what to do next in Zimbabwe," said Zuma.

President Robert Mugabe has blamed the restrictions targeting him and his allies for his country's woes although Zuma agreed concurred with Reinfeldt that Zimbabwe's problems existed before the sanctions.

"I don't think sanctions started the problems in the economy I think it was the Zimbabweans who undermined their own system. That got the economy in trouble."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:49 September 12, 2009 by magic1964
Mugabe has killed more people in the las 10 years in Zimbabwe than apartheid for 50 years in South Africa and Rhodesia ( former Zimbabwe ).......this is the sad true of this psychopath Mugabe.
19:18 September 12, 2009 by Re-Horakhty

Stop spreading propaganda. Mugabe is a great man and a Great African. He tossed out leaches who sold 90% percent of their crops to Europe and gave Zimbabwe and it's people nothing but attitude.

It matter little though, since the re structuring of power is happening with or without Sweden's help. Sweden is dying nation anyway with very few food crops being grown here. If they were smart they would make a pac with Mugabe.

Mugabe the Great loves the people of Zimbabwe and Africa.

Robert Mugabe said "As long as Zimbabwe remains in our control, we remain here as the masters of our destiny, we will come up with economic programs that will benefit our people,"
23:25 September 12, 2009 by superturbo
Yeah, as if any African country has been able to come up with any economic programs that benefits its' own people... Most African leaders seems to lack the dicipline needed to come up with such reforms.

Mugabe has helped ruining the Zimbawe economy, that's for sure.
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