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Discussions Continue as KP Delegates Debate Zimbabwe

Jun 23, 2010 2:08 PM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... Filed from Tel Aviv at 9:10 p.m. local time. Kimberley Process (KP) delegates in Tel Aviv have been unable to reach a consensus on Zimbabwe this evening, following a lively discussion among all of participating countries.

The entire meeting was scheduled to end three hours ago, but as of this posting, the meeting was still underway. KP chairman Boaz Hirsch asked the working group that is weighing compliance issues in Zimbabwe to hold a closed-door session so that the participants could work toward a decision on whether to give a green light to rough exports from Marange.

A high-ranking delegate said the impasse was the result of different interpretations of the monitor's report.

"In a family of so many members, it is always possible to have different positions" he said.

There seems to be a varying degree of opinions among the member countries. Most of the African countries, along with Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Russia and India, are ready to endorse rough exports from Zimbabwe, while the U.S., European Union (E.U.), Australia and Canada, to a certain extent, do not feel Zimbabwe has been compliant or that it has fully implemented the Joint Work Plan (JWP) agreed upon this past November. The West African nations have not yet made their position on this issue clear.

"Zimbabwe is taking a hard line, which puts the KP in a very sensitive postion," said Tiseke Kasambala, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch's (HRW) African division. “On the one hand, Zimbabwe is saying it will remain in the process and is ready to start exporting from Marange. On the other hand, there are those in the scheme who want to suspend Zimbabwe for noncompliance. Whether they will get a consensus decision on this, we don’t’ know.”

Tags: Australia, China, Compliance, Deena Taylor, European Union, India, Kimberley Process, Russia, Zimbabwe
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