Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-02-13-Speech-4-156"

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"Mr President, there will never be a European foreign policy as long as Member States continue to follow their own agenda. Not even a Convention will help bring one about. The European Union is not even capable of pursuing a consistent, vigorous, clear policy with regard to Zimbabwe. The scandalous human rights situation, political repression, the economic decline and starvation ultimately count for less than French interests in Africa. We must not forget that our severe sanctions are the only alternative to punishments that affect the population. The people of Zimbabwe are already suffering far too much. Yet France is riding roughshod over the agreements by inviting Mugabe, and in doing so is putting the credibility of the European Union on the line. It now looks as if the Council is intending to relax the sanctions by introducing exception provisions. The opposite is, however, urgently needed. Rather than being interrupted, the sanctions against the regime must be extended and intensified, with absolutely no visas at all for Mr Mugabe and his henchmen, and with cricket teams who want to play in Zimbabwe being declared all out before they even start. Fortunately our Parliament is consistent, or at least most of the parties are, and we must keep it that way. If Europe is not consistent, how can we expect African countries to be? It is most unfortunate that South Africa and Nigeria seem to be standing up for Mugabe and want the Commonwealth’s sanctions to be lifted. Free, honest elections are needed soon. Show trials against opposition leaders must be stopped immediately, and the United Nations must appoint a special human rights rapporteur. Only unconditional actions against the regime can release the people from their suffering. The starving, terrorised victims of the former resistance hero must be able to count on our support. It is time Member States put their own commercial agendas aside and pulled out all the stops for human rights on a European level."@en1

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