Germany says embargo poisons Zimbabwe's political environment

13:27, October 03, 2010      

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Continued sanctions are poisoning the political climate in Zimbabwe and making it difficult for SADC- appointed facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma to mediate the dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations, a diplomat has said.

German Ambassador to Zimbabwe Albretch Conze was quoted by Saturday's the Herald as saying that the European Union, of which Germany is a member, is looking at ways to revise the sanctions.

SADC (the Southern African Development Community), African Union, and the Non-Aligned Movement, among others, in the international community, have condemned the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

Commenting on diplomatic relations between his country and Zimbabwe during a press conference to mark his country's national day on Friday, Conze said "Nobody would like the sanctions to remain for the next seven years and the European Union will be meeting in January next year to decide on the measures."

"As European ambassadors we can only make recommendations, but it is up to Brussels to decide," Ambassador Conze said, hinting there could be partial removal of sanctions.

He pointed out that a SADC-approved election roadmap would allow for movement at Brussels. "We were quite pleased with what the SADC Troika said in Windhoek about a roadmap on elections which SADC will endorse and underwrite. That is an appealing idea and we want to see commitment by Zimbabwe and its neighbours," he said.

Conze revealed that during the recent EU-South Africa summit, South African President Zuma had indicated that sanctions made "manoeuvring" on Zimbabwe difficult.

"We carefully listened to what President Zuma said and the EU wants his position strengthened," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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