The EU is to immediately suspend travel bans and asset freezes on most Zimbabwean firms and people on its sanctions list after the country approved a new constitution.
Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, said in a statement: “The EU ... has today agreed to immediately suspend the application of measures against 81 individuals and eight entities.”
Ten people, including President Robert Mugabe, and two companies, including state-run diamond miner the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, remain on the sanctions list, an EU source said.
The European Union has been gradually easing its sanctions on Zimbabwe as part of a strategy to encourage political reform after 33 years of Mugabe’s rule.
In a March 16 referendum, nearly 95 per cent of voters approved the new constitution, bringing the southern African state closer to an election. Part of the constitution included a curbing of presidential powers.
Baroness Ashton said the “peaceful, successful and credible” vote was a significant step in the implementation of an agreement that created an uneasy coalition between Mr Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister, following violent and disputed elections in 2008.