Skip to main content

EU-Africa Lisbon Summit

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what waiving of EU sanctions was required in order to permit the attendance of a Zimbabwean delegation, including President Mugabe, at the EU-AU Summit in Lisbon; and if he will make a statement. (174180)

Article 4(5) of the EU Common Position (2004/161/Common Foreign and Security Policy) stipulates that an exemption to the restrictions on any one of the 131 persons on the EU visa ban list preventing them from travelling to the EU can be made when the meeting they attend is intergovernmental and includes a political dialogue that directly promotes democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Zimbabwe. The EU Africa summit in Lisbon included such a discussion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what formal discussions of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe took place during the EU-AU summit in Lisbon; and what conclusions were reached. (174181)

Several discussions on the human rights situation in Zimbabwe were held during the EU/Africa summit. My noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Amos raised Zimbabwe and the appalling human rights situation caused by President Mugabe during her intervention on behalf of the UK. Other EU member states (Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden) also raised the issue, specifically criticising the human rights situation in Zimbabwe. As high representative for the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana delivered a statement on behalf of the EU underlining member states’ collective concern at the deteriorating human rights situation and condemning all acts of violent repression.