Country Report Zimbabwe September 2010

Outlook for 2010-11: International relations

Although Mr Tsvangirai is seeking to improve relations with donor nations and to persuade them that the transition process is working, Mr Mugabe continues to take an antagonistic approach to Western states, and Western governments have sought to tie the removal of sanctions to political and economic progress in Zimbabwe. For its part, ZANU-PF insists that the GPA will not be implemented until targeted sanctions have been removed. There are signs that some EU states believe that targeted sanctions should be moderated so as to "reward" the GNU, but the US and other European states are taking a harder stance, insisting that there can be no real progress until internationally recognised elections have been held.

The MDC will continue to turn to regional powers to influence Mr Mugabe, but this strategy appears increasingly ineffectual. Mediation efforts by the South African president, Jacob Zuma, have made little progress, and Mr Zuma's attempts to set deadlines for the resolution of outstanding issues merely underscore this. It is far from clear what South Africa-or the Southern African Development Community (SADC)-will do if such deadlines are not met, even if SADC as a whole can be persuaded to take a tougher stance. Sanctions (let alone armed intervention) are not on the agenda while Mr Mugabe still commands support among other members of the African Union, suggesting that the stalemate will continue unless the president himself decides that it is time to alter the dynamic.

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