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EU likely to change sanctions on Zimbabwe in October
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08:51, September 16, 2008

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The European Union will probably decide to change its sanctions against Zimbabwe due to the signing of a power-sharing agreement in the African country, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Monday.

"The sanctions for the moment will not be changed today. The decision will probably be taken in October," Solana told reporters before attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

He noted the European bloc needed to analyze the deal signed between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last week.

"We have to analyze, it's still not clear what is going to be the outcome of the agreement," Solana said, adding that the signing of the agreement would turn a new page in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed to put an end to the political crisis triggered by a disputed presidential election in June.

A conclusion on Zimbabwe made at the meeting said that the EU "will study the details of the agreement and will be attentive to its implementation, which will mean immediate cessation of all forms of intimidation and violence."

The document said that the EU "stands ready to adopt a set of economic support measures and measures to support a transitional government taking the steps to restore democracy and the rule of law in Zimbabwe, particularly by organizing transparent multiparty elections and promoting the economic rehabilitation of the country."

It said that the development of the situation in Zimbabwe would be examined at the foreign ministers' meeting in October.

Before the deal was signed on Sept. 11, the 27-nation bloc had planned to expand at Monday's meeting the list of Zimbabwean officials whose assets are frozen and who are under a visa ban.

The EU sanctions against the African country include an arms embargo, visa bans and asset freezes on 168 senior officials and a few companies.


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