Thursday, July 07, 2011

Zimbabwe-European Union Re-engagement Team to Meet

Zim’s EU re-engagement team to meet

Thursday, 07 July 2011 04:00
Herald Reporter

ZIMABAWE'S re-engagement team with the European Union is set to meet next week to seek ways of reactivating dialogue with the European bloc.

The dialogue is expected to explore ways of normalising relations between the two sides that soured in the last decade after Zimbabwe embarked on its land reform programme to address colonial land ownership imbalances.

In an interview yesterday, Foreign Affairs secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha, said a ministerial meeting was set for Monday next week to review meetings that were held at officials' level between Zimbabwe and the EU.

"There is a meeting next Monday at ministerial level to chat the way forward. The meeting is also expected to review meetings that we have held at officials' level," he said.

Members of the re-engagement team included Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF), Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi (Zanu-PF), Finance Minister Tendai Biti (MDC-T), Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma (MDC-T), Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube (MDC) and Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC).

He said Zimbabwe was still committed to the dialogue and was keen to reach a common ground with the EU.

The dialogue has been stalled by the EU's reluctance to seriously engage Zimbabwe over the matter.

It is understood that top on Zimbabwe's agenda to the re-engagement dialogue is the issue of illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the European bloc members.

The issue of illegal sanctions had remained thorny in the election roadmap being crafted by Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.

Zanu-PF is arguing that the illegal sanctions are impacting negatively on the country's economy and should be removed before the country goes to next general elections, while the MDC formations have remained silent on the matter.

The EU had insisted that it would not remove the ruinous embargo alleging that the Zimbabwe had not yet fully implemented provisions of the Global Political Agreement.

This is despite that parties in the inclusive Government had agreed on most outstanding issues with the only remaining major issue being the removal of the illegal sanctions.

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