EU to Lift Zimbabwe Sanctions After Referendum

Posted July 23rd, 2012 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
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The European Union says it will lift most sanctions on Zimbabwe firms and individuals once the country holds a “peaceful and credible” vote on a new constitution.

A statement by EU ministers says they have also agreed to resume direct aid to Zimbabwe's government after a 10-year suspension.

The ministers, who are meeting in Brussels, said once the constitutional referendum is organized sanctions would be lifted on most of the 112 Zimbabweans under an EU asset freeze and travel ban imposed in 2002.

EU diplomats said the sanctions on President Robert Mugabe would remain intact.

The European assembly said a credible vote on the constitution represents an “important milestone” in preparation for democratic elections.

A shaky unity government linking Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-FP with his rival Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change was formed in 2009 after disputed presidential elections. Since then, the coalition has been riven with problems and disputes.

Mr. Mugabe has led the Zimbabwe government since 1980.