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Australia to remain sanctions against Zimbabwe
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18:50, September 16, 2008

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Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said on Tuesday his government would remain sanctions against Zimbabwe but review that position depending on the troubled nation's progress following its historic power sharing agreement.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed a power sharing agreement on Monday with the head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now Zimbabwe's prime minister.

In a speech to the parliament, Smith welcomed the recent agreement, but said its success or otherwise would depend on its implementation.

"From a very low base, this is modest progress. The proof will be in the actual implementation and we certainly wish that Mr Tsvangirai has a full and complete opportunity to advance the interests of his people," Smith said.

He also said the government would consider increasing the humanitarian food aid to Zimbabwe.

"Depending upon progress, we will look to whether it's possible for Australia to increase its humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe,and also whether capacity building development assistance is also appropriate," Smith said.


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