Zimbabwe sanctions not discussed in EU meeting

The Swedish development aid minister Gunilla Carlsson has said that EU sanctions imposed on Zimbabe were not discussed at an EU meeting with President Mugabe on Saturday.

Swedish Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson said the dropping of targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe had not been discussed in talks here Saturday.

“We didn’t discuss that. This was not a negotiation time,” she said following the meeting between Mugabe and a high-level European Union delegation.

The meeting, aimed at easing diplomatic tensions, focused on the troubled implementation of a fragile unity deal between Mugabe and former political rival Morgan Tsvangirai who joined an inclusive government in February.

The EU and the United States imposed sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle following a disputed presidential poll in 2002, which Western nations as well as independent local poll monitors described as flawed.

The Local reported on Saturday that Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had resisted pressure from the South African president Jacob Zuma to push for the lifting of sanctions imposed on its neighbour Zimbabwe, denying that they were the cause of the country’s problems.

“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.

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