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EU suspends more Zimbabwe measures following referendum

By United Kingdom - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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LONDON, United-Kingdom, March 25, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- European nations suspend most restrictive measures on Zimbabwe in response to referendum. Onus on Zimbabwe's leaders to meet commitments.

The European Union has today announced the decision to suspend asset freezes and travel bans on all but a small core of individuals around President Mugabe, in line with a commitment to do so if Zimbabwe held a credible referendum, agreed by EU Member states last year.

Following the announcement, the Foreign Secretary William Hague, said:

“The UK proposed last April that the EU should respond to a peaceful and credible constitutional referendum in Zimbabwe with a suspension of the majority of the remaining asset freezes and travel bans. Following last week's successful referendum, I am pleased that this decision has been adopted today.

"Our aim throughout has been to support the process towards free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. The successful completion of this constitution-making process is an important step in Zimbabwe's election process and a significant achievement for Zimbabwe's inclusive government. It reflects the commitment shown by Zimbabwe's neighbours in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to facilitating the process of reform set out in the Global Political Agreement.

“The suspension will apply to all but a small core of individuals and entities. That small group includes those who we believe ultimately carry the most responsibility for ensuring elections are free of violence and intimidation.

“EU targeted measures should be dynamic, they should recognise and reward progress and they should respond to backsliding. That the EU is able to take this step at this point reflects our confidence in the facilitation process, in President Zuma and in the leaders of SADC. It also places the onus on the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to their commitments. If the situation deteriorates, the EU will of course respond appropriately.”