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New Zealand Welcomes Suspension Of Zimbabwe

Foreign Minister Phil Goff said New Zealand welcomed the decision to suspend Zimbabwe for one year from the Councils of the Commonwealth.

“For the Commonwealth not to have acted would have severely undermined its integrity. The decision taken today preserves the Commonwealth’s consistency with its principles.

“However the move to suspend Zimbabwe for just 12 months appears to be a ‘halfway house’ measure.

“What counts now is the action the Commonwealth takes to work towards to produce change in Zimbabwe.

“New Zealand is still likely to impose targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe. While these would be largely symbolic, like suspension from the Commonwealth they serve to denounce what has happened in Zimbabwe and to increase pressure for change to happen.

“These sanctions would be focused on the Mugabe elite and would be in line with the types of measures already imposed by the European Union.

“New Zealand does not regard the Zimbabwe government as being legitimate as it did not get there by legitimate means.

“Suspension is only a first step. What is needed now is concerted international pressure to see democracy and the rule of law reinstated in Zimbabwe,” Mr Goff said.

Ends

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