Zimbabwe, EU in talks to improve diplomatic ties



European Union officials are holding their highest level talks with Zimbabwe for almost 20 years in an effort to improve relations, which soured under former President Robert Mugabe’s rule.

The talks between ministers, rather than civil servants, could lead to the resumption of financial assistance to Zimbabwe, which is in an economic crisis.

In 2002, the EU imposed sanctions on individuals and businesses because of human rights abuses and a controversial land reform programme.

When President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power two years ago, he pledged to repair diplomatic ties.

The talks come amidst the EU’s growing concern over intimidation, harassment and physical attacks on human rights activists, trade union and civil society representatives, and opposition politicians.

The EU is expected to raise concerns about this, as well as about government expenditure.