81 Zimbabwean individuals off EU sanctions list

2013-03-26 10:05:48 GMT2013-03-26 18:05:48(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

HARARE, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Union has removed 81 Zimbabwean individuals and eight companies off its sanctions list, leaving on the travel ban the last ten influential people including President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe, and top military officials, reports said Tuesday.

The EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton said in a statement that the suspension of travel bans on the 81 individuals stemmed from the outcome of the referendum.

Zimbabweans held a what international observers described as peaceful and fair referendum on a constitution draft on March 16, paving ways for presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

The EU imposed restrictive measures on more than a numner of Zimbabwean officials and companies, most linked to the ruling Zanu- PF party after the 2002 elections. Harare has repeatedly denounced the sanctions as illegal over the years.

Presidential Spokesman George Charamba told state newspaper the Herald that the government is still studying the position of the EU.

"Does it matter that tens of officials have been suspended from an illegal measure when in fact President Mugabe himself, the face of the country, remains a victim of those illegal measures?" Charamba said.

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