Zimbabwe's Mugabe dismisses renewal of EU sanctions

12:50, February 18, 2010      

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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday dismissed the renewal of the European Union (EU) sanctions on his country as a futile attempt by the West to disrupt the country's developmental process.

In his first public reaction after Tuesday's extension of the sanctions for another year, Mugabe said the sanctions were designed to curtail progress, but vowed these would not derail government efforts to revive the economy.

"We know their attitude. They do not want any country to make any meaningful development and that attitude is more pronounced here in Zimbabwe," the State news agency, New Ziana, quoted him as saying.

"We have natural resources which they envy, we have land which we took and this has made them feel that they have lost what they thought belonged to them."

The EU extended the sanctions which target 200 people and 40 firms linked to Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, citing lack of progress in implementation of a power sharing accord.

However, the bloc removed six individuals, some of them dead, and nine companies from the sanctions list.

The sanctions were imposed in 2002 following policy differences with Harare.

Mugabe formed a coalition government with former foes Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara of the two MDC factions in February 2009.

This followed the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by the three leaders in September 2008, but squabbles among the three parties on how to share executive power is threatening the survival of the one-year government.

Already, inter-party talks to thrash out outstanding issues to the GPA have stalled as the parties refuse to compromise on their demands.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has threatened not to make further concessions on the GPA talks unless the sanctions are removed.

The issue of sanctions and the removal of foreign radio stations beaming into Zimbabwe are the two major issues that Zanu- PF wants Tsvangirai's party to address, even though Tsvangirai has said the two issues are beyond him and his party.

Tsvangirai and his MDC party want Mugabe and his party to reverse the appointments of central bank governor and attorney general, and to appoint members from MDC as provincial governors.

The premier also wants Mugabe to swear into office, his MDC party treasurer Roy Bennett as agriculture deputy minister. Mugabe is refusing to do so arguing Bennett has to be cleared first of terror-related charges he is facing in the courts of law.

Source: Xinhua
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