The European Union has expressed
satisfaction at South African President Thabo Mbeki’s role in bringing about
the power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition, but emphasized that the negotiations need to produce results in a timely fashion.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy, now holding the rotating EU presidency, made
remarks to this effect Friday to reporters at a South African-EU summit in Bordeaux, France.
"Europe does not want to interfere, but at the same time
Europe cannot accept certain images and acts,' the French president said,
alluding to the often deadly political violence that followed Zimbabwe's first round of elections March 31, most often targeting the opposition.
Reports from the summit said Mr. Sarkozy described President Mugabe as a
“tyrant,” vowing that the European Union henceforth would not engage him in any context.
analyst Bekhithemba Mhlanga told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mr. Sarkozi's comments should be
taken seriously given his current position in the EU, which recently
hardened its stance on Harare by expanding its sanctions list.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe