EU to review relations with Zimbabwe
23 August 2013, 15:32
Brussels – The European Union will review relations with
Zimbabwe given its “serious concerns” about the conduct of the southern African
state’s election, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Thursday.
The EU’s verdict on the fairness of the elections will be
crucial to a decision on whether it continues to ease sanctions against
Zimbabwe. Ashton did not broach the issue of such sanctions in her statement.
President Robert Mugabe was sworn back into office on
Thursday after winning the 31 July election, extending at – at age 89 – his 33-year
rule dating back to independence from Britain.
Ashton said the 28-member EU shared the "serious
concerns" raised in the initial assessment of the election by the Southern
African Development Community, African Union and domestic observers.
"The EU underlines the importance and need to continue
strengthening reforms to ensure that future elections are fully transparent and
credible as well as peaceful," she said.
"The EU will review its relations with Zimbabwe, taking
account of all these factors."