President Robert Mugabe has met with a European Union delegation, the
first such meeting since 2002 when the EU imposed sanctions on Mr.
Mugabe and senior individuals in his party and government for alleged
human rights abuses. The parties failed to agree on the lifting of
sanctions as demanded by the Zimbabwean government.
Mugabe emerged from the more than one hour meeting and told journalists
the meeting was held in a friendly atmosphere but the sanctions issue
had not been resolved. He said the EU demands that the Global Political
Agreement that brought about the unity government be implemented are
" Everything that we were asked to do under the GPA
we have done and done timeously even. It is other matters of course
that one might regard as constituting the spirit and environment in
which the GPA should work which must now be attended to," he said.
Mugabe blamed the sanctions for Zimbabwe's long-running economic
problems. When reminded that the sanctions targeted him and his inner
circle he pointed out that he was still in power but the country's
ordinary people were suffering.
"Sanctions have had a real
effect on the performance of our industries, mining manufacturing, we
can't get spare parts, we can't get credit lines and we are blocked in
regard to aid from the IMF and World Bank," he said.
Development Minister Gunilla Carlsson, whose country currently holds
the rotating EU presidency, reiterated the EU stance that the sanctions
are not against Zimbabwe. She said contacts with the Zimbabwean
government will continue and the removal of the measures against Mr.
Mugabe and others would depend on a number of issues being resolved.
are several and the implementation must now be conducted in a good way
and we have discussed human rights violations, we have discussed the
need for free media and some other things," said Carlsson.
EU team, which leaves Zimbabwe on Sunday, is still to meet with Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Mr. Tsvangirai wants the removal of
sanctions to be conditional on the full implementation of the deal that
brought about the unity government.