HL Deb 23 October 2002 vol 639 c101WA
Lord Elton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many persons connected with the Government of Zimbabwe and subject to exclusion from the European Union under its sanctions policy have been admitted to the European Union; on what occasions; and, in each instance, under what provisions of that policy and for how long. [HL5851]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)

To the best of our knowledge, five Zimbabweans on the EU travel ban list have travelled to the EU since the targeted sanctions were imposed on 18 February 2002. Robert Mugabe, Stan Mudenge and Joseph Made visited Rome to attend World Food Summit meetings between 10 and 13 June. Augustine Chihuri, Police Commissioner, travelled to France on three occasions to attend meetings of the Interpol Executive Committee on 14–16 May, 18–20 June and 27 August. Samuel Mumbengegwi, Trade and Industry Minister, visited Belgium from 22–29 September to attend trade talks between the EU and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries. In all cases, the EU country concerned consulted EU partners before issuing visas.

The EU's Common Position 2002/145/CFSP imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe specifically allows member states to grant exemptions where travel is justified on grounds of attending meetings of international bodies. In all these cases, the EU country in question had a legal obligation to grant visas. In doing so, they attached maximum restrictions, ensuring that the visas were for a limited time and restricted to the host country of the meeting concerned.