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EU renews sanctions on Zimbabwe

The European Union renewed its sanctions on Zimbabwe, one year after the formation of the inclusive government, because of the lack of progress in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement entered into by the three major political parties in Zimbabwe in 2008.

 It, however, lifted sanctions on six individuals and nine entities.

The United States had warned the EU that lifting sanctions could undermine “our common political front and diminish EU leverage vis-a-vis Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean regime”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 10BRUSSELS197, EU REVISES ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

10BRUSSELS197

2010-02-19 13:37

CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN

USEU Brussels

VZCZCXRO0227

PP RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR

DE RUEHBS #0197/01 0501337

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 191337Z FEB 10 ZDK

FM USEU BRUSSELS

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY

INFO RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY

RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEAORC/US CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRUSSELS 000197

 

NOFORN

SIPDIS

 

STATE FOR IO, EEB, S/CT, EUR/ERA, AF, EAP, L

TREASURY FOR TFI, IA

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/17/2020

TAGS: ETTC KTFN BEXP KJUS EWWT EAIR PTER EFIN EUN

PINR, ZI

SUBJECT: EU REVISES ZIMBABWE SANCTIONS

 

Classified By: USEU EconMinCouns Peter Chase for reasons

1.4 (b) and (d).

 

1. (C//NF) SUMMARY. The EU formally agreed on February 15

to extend its sanctions against Zimbabwe by twelve months.

Changes include the de-listing of six individuals and nine

entities; the EU otherwise rolled over all existing program

measures. Preambulatory paragraphs within the Council

Decision helpfully note that sanctions remain appropriate and

should be extended, due to the lack of progress in

implementation of Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement. But

these also state that “there are no longer grounds” for

maintaining certain listings, which may prove detrimental to

U.S. designations of the relevant individuals and entities or

to transatlantic political messaging concerning Zimbabwe.

Brussels-based contacts say that the action came after

intense debate and compromise; some Member States (notably

Belgium, see below) pushed strongly for a more limited

six-month rollover. Concerning de-listings, contacts are

adamant that signs of dynamism in the EU program will

encourage and empower the MDC. USG officials cautioned in

advance of the EU decision that the de-listings could

undermine our common political front and diminish EU leverage

vis-a-vis Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean regime (SEPTEL).

Separately, the EU extended for another year its suspension

of budgetary support to the GoZ under Article 96 of the

Cotonou Agreement. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) During the February 15 Education, Youth and Culture

Council formation meeting, the European Union formally agreed

to extend its sanctions against Zimbabwe by twelve (12)

months. Revisions to the EU program, which were adopted

without debate, may be found in Council Decision

2010/92/CFSP. The EU de-listed six (6) individuals and nine

(9) entities, but otherwise rolled over all existing program

measures. The individuals include one (1) who has left the

GoZ, four (4) who are now deceased, and one (1), Thamer Al

Shanfari, whom the EU assesses no longer meets designation

criteria. Eight (8) of the entities are Zimbabwean

parastatals that were designated by the EU on January 27,

2009, but which have been judged, based on reporting from EU

Member State missions in Harare, to be under control of the

Zimbabwean finance ministry and thus de-linked from ZANU-PF.

 

3. (C//NF) Brussels-based contacts (UK, Spain as current EU

Presidency, EU Council Secretariat) say that the action came

after intense debate and compromise. Our interlocutors were

unwilling to revisit de-listing decisions once the necessary

compromises were struck within the Council’s COAFR regional

working group (late January). They were also adamant that

select de-listings were appropriate and that signs of

dynamism in the EU program would encourage and empower the

MDC. A U.S. delegation visiting Brussels to discuss

sanctions issues (SEPTEL) informed EU institutional and

Member State contacts that parastatal designations were

assessed by the USG to be a significant leverage point

vis-a-vis Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF, and cautioned that the

de-listing of these entities would most likely diminish EU

leverage with respect to the Zimbabwean regime.

 

4. (C//NF) Some Member States pushed strongly for a more

limited six-month rollover. The UK and Council Secretariat

seem especially content that EU measures will be extended by

a full year. USEU notes that a six-month rollover would have

placed Zimbabwe sanctions on the Council’s agenda during

Belgium’s stewardship of the rotating EU Presidency. The

Belgian External Relations (“RELEX”) sanctions

representative, who will presumably chair the RELEX sanctions

working group during his country’s July-December 2010 EU

Presidency, reportedly frequently complicates life for the

UK, in particular on Zimbabwe issues, even using a technical

pretext to delay this specific rollover for as long as

possible. Contacts note that this individual has behaved in

a rogue manner at times in EU working group meetings,

sometimes contradicting his explicit instructions from the

Belgian Foreign Ministry.

 

5. (C//NF) The visiting U.S. delegation raised the

 

BRUSSELS 00000197 002 OF 002

 

 

importance of messaging with the UK, Spain, and Council

Secretariat. U.S. officials indicated that the USG would not

be easing our Zimbabwe sanctions and shared our desire to

maintain a common transatlantic political front. The Spanish

Presidency and the Council Secretariat reviewed draft text

for the conclusions that now accompany the new Common

Position. U.S. officials noted several points of concern,

and our contacts agreed to remove language that would

undermine USG political messaging. Their finalized

conclusions are largely neutral, stating simply that

sanctions were extended before listing measures that the

program currently includes.

 

6. (C) However, there are two preambulatory paragraphs with

political implications within the body of Council Decision

2010/92/CFSP. The first helpfully notes the lack of progress

in implementation of the Global Political Agreement. The

second treats de-listings as a group and in generic terms,

stating that “there are no longer grounds” for maintaining

certain listings. (COMMENT: This may prove detrimental to

U.S. designations of the relevant individuals and entities.

END COMMENT.)

 

7. (C//NF) During a February 2 bilateral meeting with the UK

(SEPTEL), the U.S. delegation also asked if the EU would

consider creating a system of temporary licensing of

transactions with designated entities as an alternative to

the relatively permanent de-listing action. The UK said that

there was no appetite within the EU for a licensing regime,

which finance ministries find overly burdensome.

 

8. (U) Separately, the EU Council also extended for another

year measures first taken in 2002 against the Government of

Zimbabwe under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement. These

measures include the suspension of budgetary support and

projects, but do not affect humanitarian and social

operations, or projects benefiting the implementation of the

GPA. The EU considers that these measures can only be fully

revoked once the GPA is effectively put into practice by the

Zimbabwean authorities.

 

MURRAY

(8 VIEWS)

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