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EU Eases Sanctions Against Zimbabwe

The European Union says it is easing sanctions on Zimbabwe to reward ongoing political reforms there.

EU officials say they are removing travel bans against six members of the government and lifting an asset freeze on another 21 Zimbabweans.

The EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell'Aricia, says the easing of sanctions follows the drafting of a proposed new constitution for Zimbabwe. The country is scheduled to vote on the document next month and to hold elections in July.

The European Union first imposed the sanctions on individual Zimbabweans in 2002 in response to alleged human-rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe.

Mr. Mugabe's party says the EU decision to only lift some sanctions is "outrageous and preposterous." A spokesman for ZANU-PF said the party will never accept conditional removal of the sanctions.

EU officials say after Zimbabwe's elections Brussels will review remaining travel bans and asset freezes against President Mugabe and dozens of his associates.

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