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Volume 717: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (David Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I wish to inform you that on 15 February 2010 the EU decided to extend for one year its targeted measures on Zimbabwe. These comprise an arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze, with small modifications detailed below. The EU decision is entirely consistent with the UK's Zimbabwe policy: to support reform in line with Zimbabwe's global political agreement.

We have monitored closely the progress of the inclusive Government since their formation in February 2009, drawing on a wide range of evidence. They have made progress on economic reform: stabilising the economy, improving public financial management and working effectively with the international financial institutions. By contrast, progress on political reform has been slow. A number of key reforms outlined in the global political agreement, which underpins the inclusive Government, have not been met. These include reform of the media, security apparatus, judiciary, constitution and electoral system. Human rights violations continue, including the harassment of civil society activists, farm seizures and restrictions on the freedom of speech and assembly.

In response to economic reform in Zimbabwe, the EU decided to modify its targeted measures, which it lifted on eight state-owned companies that are now adequately supervised by the inclusive Government and no longer cause concern (Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, ZIMRE Holdings, ZIMRE Reinsurance Company, ZB Financial Holdings, ZB Holdings, Scotfin and Intermarket Holdings). The EU also lifted its targeted measures on five individuals and one company which no longer met EU criteria for inclusion on the list (Richard Hove, Joseph Msika, Vitalis Zvinavashe, Dumiso Dabengwa, Thamer Al-Shanfari and Oryx Diamonds Ltd).

The EU continues fully to support the ongoing efforts of reformers in the inclusive Government to bring positive change to Zimbabwe, and of South Africa and the Southern African Development Community to support those endeavours. It remains ready to ease its targeted measures in response to further implementation of the reforms outlined in the global political agreement.

For its part, the UK will continue to play a full role in international efforts to support the inclusive Government in delivering better services to their people and in preparing for free and fair elections. This year we will provide £60 million in aid to Zimbabwe, the highest level ever.