Cape Town – The European Union's ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia, has reportedly said that sanctions imposed against Harare over a decade ago helped trigger a "positive evolution" in the country.
According to NewZimbabwe.com, Dell'Ariccia said the sanctions forced President Robert Mugabe to agree to the coalition deal with his rivals after disputed elections in 2008, leading to some reforms which included a new Constitution.
"As a matter of fact, there is an evolution of the situation in the country, a positive evolution," Dell'Ariccia was quoted as saying.
The envoy, however, said the "evolution" was not as positive as it could have been if the July 2013 elections had been completely credible.
The EU last month lifted most of the sanctions, although those of Mugabe and his wife Grace remained in place.
Restrictions against the State-owned Zimbabwe Defence Industries (ZDI) also remain.
"There are still efforts that, in our view, the government of Zimbabwe has to do, not to us, but to its people and this is why we still have some of these measures still in place," Dell'Ariccia was quoted as saying.