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South Africa's Zuma Seen Again Urging European Union to Lift Zimbabwe Sanctions

  • Ntungamili Nkomo
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

After talks between US and Zimbabwean officials in New York last week, a State Department official said the United States was not ready to lift sanctions as rights violations were continuing in the country

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to again ask European Union officials to lift targeted sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle in meetings scheduled for Tuesday in Brussels.

Sources said Mr. Zuma will tell European officials that the sanctions are hindering Zimbabwe's economic and social recovery. The exchange will also examine the general condition of the Harare unity government, sources said.

President Zuma, who is mediator in Zimbabwe on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, has previously urged the EU and other Western powers to lift the travel and financial restrictions.

Following bilateral talks between US and Zimbabwean officials in New York last week, a State Department official said the United States was not ready to lift sanctions as rights violations were continuing in the country.

The EU sent much the same message earlier this year in meetings with officials of Zimbabwe's so-called re-engagement committee established by the Harare Cabinet to expand dialogue with the West.

Zuma foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo from Brussels that although the summit will focus mainly on trade and bilateral relations, Zimbabwe will feature prominently.

"What will arise is the overall progress in Zimbabwe, but obviously the issue of sanctions will also be discussed," she said.

Commenting, Programs Manager Pedzisai Ruhanya of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that Mr. Zuma should see to it that ZANU-PF conforms to democratic values before lobbying Brussels and other Western capitals to remove sanctions.

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