Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe, has decided to sever all political and diplomatic links with South Africa.
GV EXTERIOR EEC Commission building in Brussels.
GV Delegates arriving at the Commission.
SV Zimbabwe's Minister for Commerce and Industry, David Smith (on left) and Minister of Planning, Bernard Chidzero.
SV PAN Around conference room with EEC delegates sitting at desks.
SV EEC Commission's Director-General for the EEC Directorate for Development, Mr. Klaus Meyer.
GV PAN Around room with delegates from Belgium, Denmark and West Germany.
CU David Smith PAN TO Bernard Chidzero.
GV PAN Delegates seated prior to start of conference.
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Background: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Robert Mugabe, has decided to sever all political and diplomatic links with South Africa. In a statement to the Salisbury Parliament on Thursday (26 June), Mr. Mugabe said political and diplomatic ties would be discontinued -- until South Africa puts its "house in order". But Zimbabwe's Prime Minister said he had no alternative but to continue trade ties with South Africa. Economically, Zimbabwe remains heavily reliant on its southern neighbour, but efforts are now under way to find alternative trading partners.
SYNOPSIS: On the same day that Mr. Mugabe announced the end of political and diplomatic relations with South Africa, a team of Government officials was in Brussels to meet a delegation from the European Economic Community (EEC). There, they discussed Zimbabwe's application to become the sixtieth developing country linked to the Common Market under the Lome Convention.
Membership of the Common Market has been accepted in principle. But Zimbabwe officials say further talks are needed on aid and obtaining access to European markets for its beef and sugar. Zimbabwe exported both products before the 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and subsequent United Nations sanctions. Now, it hopes to obtain fresh beef and sugar quotas. The men heading the Zimbabwe team -- Planning Minister, Bernard Chidzero, and Commerce and Industry Minister, David Smith -- say they are looking to the Common Market to help build up the economy of Zimbabwe.