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Cablegate: Depformin Pahad Condemns New U.S. Zimbabwe

VZCZCXRO0953
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #4193 3471420
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131420Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2970
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS PRETORIA 004193

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR AF/S S. HILL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ZI SF
SUBJECT: DEPFORMIN PAHAD CONDEMNS NEW U.S. ZIMBABWE
SANCTIONS

REF: A. PRETORIA 4154

B. STATE 161333
C. PRETORIA 3425

1. (U) South Africa condemned "till the cows come home" the
new U.S. targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe. During a 11
December press conference, DepForMin Aziz Pahad said that
imposing sanctions on the children of Zimbabwean leaders is
"collective punishment of a non-sensical nature" which will
not help the process. On the addition of new ZANU-PF
officials to the targeted sanctions list, Pahad suggested
this step will not "take us, at this crucial stage, any
further." He added that public criticism of the Government
of Zimbabwe is ineffective, arguing that "the world of
politics would be very easy if all that was required was
condemnation."

2. (SBU) During Pahad's press conference, he highlighted the
progress by the Mbeki-led Southern African Development
Community (SADC) Zimbabwe facilitation, claiming
optimistically that "sooner rather than later, annnouncements
will be made that at last the Zimbabweans . . . are helping
themselves to find a Zimbabwean solution which can be the
ONLY lasting solution" (highlight in Department of Foreign
Affairs transcript of remarks). (NOTE: Pahad and other SAG
officials have similarly predicted the positive conclusion of
the SADC talks for months (see for example ref C). END NOTE.)

3. (U) On the recently-concluded European Union-Africa Summit
in Lisbon, Pahad attempted to portray the discussion of
Zimbabwe as healthy, with both sides putting forward their
perspectives. He noted that nearly all the European leaders
expressed support for President Mbeki's facilitation efforts.

4. (SBU) COMMENT: Pahad's reaction to the new U.S. targeted
sanctions is predictable, albeit frustrating. As a matter of
policy, South Africa rejects sanctions as a foreign policy
tool. Announcement of new sanctions during -- what they
optimistically hope is -- the sensitive, final days of their
SADC facilitation effort in Zimbabwe is not welcomed. END
COMMENT.
BOST

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