THE European Union (EU) will maintain sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe until the country fully implements the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
EU envoys based in Harare reiterated the position during meetings with Acting President, John Nkomo on Friday.
Nkomo met separately with Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Anders Linden and his Germany counterpart, Hans Gunter Gnodtke. Both officials insisted that the sanctions would remain in place.
Linden told Nkomo Zimbabwe should fully implement the GPA, which facilitated the formation of the coalition government between President Robert Mugabe and long-time rival and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
For his part, Gnodtke said Germany was keen to re-engage with Zimbabwe wants reforms agreed under the GPA were completed.
"No one in Germany would want to see the sanctions go beyond the conclusion of the current political reform processes. Even the European Union will appreciate the need to revisit the restrictive measures once Zimbabweans achieve the targets they have set for themselves in the GPA," he said.
However, Nkomo said the country would move forward regardless.
"We were hoping that the West would re-examine their stance on Zimbabwe and help us promote development and reconciliation among Zimbabweans,” he said.
"Instead, they have conveniently chosen to call the sanctions restrictive measures, which they know will be divisive on our society creating suspicion and strife among our people.”
The government wants the sanctions – imposed following allegations of human rights abuses and electoral fraud – lifted, blaming them for the country’s economic problems.
But the EU and other Western countries claim that he sanctions are “targeted” at individuals blamed for the rights abuses.
Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party accuses Mugabe’s party of reneging on implementing aspects of the GPA while Zanu PF insists its partners have not done enough to push for the removal of sanctions.
The coalition government is expected to implement a raft of political reforms leading to elections, possibly early next year.
Civil society groups say the GPA has stalled because of the lack of political will “to achieve real reform”.
“The emerging pattern that apparently negotiated solutions are followed by interminable delays in execution reflects a fundamental deficit of political will to achieve real reform,” the International Crisis Group said in a recent report.
“Prospects for constructive engagement are diminishing, which makes it difficult to see how even minimal conditions for free and fair elections will be secured”.
Negotiators from the coalition parties met on Friday ahead of another meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team and party principals next week.
Zuma is the regional SADC grouping’s point-man on Zimbabwe.