Belgium still interested in Zimbabwe diamonds


Belgium is still interested in Zimbabwe’s diamonds and the president of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Stéphane Fischler will be in Zimbabwe next week for the Zimbabwe for the Mining, Engineering and Transport Exhibition (Mine Entra 2014). Outgoing Belgian ambassador to Zimbabwe Maricou Johan told Vice-President Joice Mujuru that Belgium would fight for the lifting of remaining sanctions on Zimbabwe to normalise relations. Belgium pushed for the lifting of sanctions on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation so that it could buy Zimbabwe diamonds. The AWDC is the world’s leading diamond trading bourse. Zimbabwe has held two auctions in Belgium and a third one in Dubai, but there were delays in getting the proceeds from the Dubai sales. Sales for the second auction in Antwerp were better than those in Dubai but President Robert Mugabe pledged to do business in Dubai because it “does not have the evil heart of Europe”. The current liquidity problems could, however, work in favour of Antwerp. The European Union has lifted all the sanctions on Zimbabwean individuals and entities except Mugabe and his wife and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. These will be reviewed in November. “We are, within the EU, a strong advocate of trying to normalise relations between the bloc and Zimbabwe. We should work in favour of lifting the remaining sanctions and this is what we have to do. Of course, we are an EU member State and work on the basis of consensus, but I hope that in the near future we will reach a consensus about lifting the remaining sanctions,” Johan said.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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