Brown looks to EU to deal with Zimbabwe

14.07.08 @ 09:12

  1. By Leigh Phillips

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asked France, currently chairing the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, for help to push through additional European sanctions against Zimbabwe.

  • Gordon Brown wants travel restrictions and financial sanctions imposed on Zimbabwean officials (Photo: The Mint Julep)

Mr Brown wants travel restrictions and financial sanctions imposed on 36 people connected to the regime of Robert Mugabe, the country's president.

The EU has already imposed such measures against 131 Zimbabwean officials.

The British prime minister made the request while meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy on the margins of a 43-nation summit on the weekend establishing a Union for the Mediterranean, a project rekindled by Mr Sarkozy that brings the states of the EU closer to their southern neighbours to work on trans-Mediterranean issues of common concern.

Mr Brown spoke to Mr Sarkozy on Sunday (14 July), along with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and other European leaders following his failure on Friday to win UN sanctions at the Security Council level after China and Russia vetoed the plan. The sanctions would also have included an arms embargo on the regime.

"I do not think the veto by China and by Russia can be easily justified," he said, according to the Times of London. "I do not think it can be easily defended, given what we know is happening in Zimbabwe."

French officials said that the issue will be on the agenda of the next EU foreign ministers' meeting, the UK paper also reports.