Canada Imposes Immediate Restrictions on Relations with Zimbabwe

The Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today condemned the illegitimate and illegal actions of the government of Robert Mugabe in the conduct of Zimbabwe's June 27, 2008, election, and has rejected the results of this "election."

As a result, Canada will immediately put in place measures designed to seriously restrict its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe.

“The Government of Zimbabwe’s systematic use of violence and intimidation represents a grave violation of human rights and democratic principles,” said Minister Emerson. “The citizens of Zimbabwe have been denied the opportunity to shape their future through free and fair elections, and they remain in constant danger of intimidation, injury and loss of life. Canada does not consider the result of the June 27 election to be, by any reasonable standard of democracy, a credible outcome. This ‘election’ is illegitimate and will not be accepted by the Government of Canada.”

The Government of Canada will immediately put in place a series of measures to severely restrict its relationship with the Government of Zimbabwe, and to send a message of solidarity to the people of Zimbabwe and convey our rejection of the actions of a desperate and illegitimate regime. The following is an initial series of measures Canada is undertaking:

*         Canada will impose restrictions on travel, work and study on senior Zimbabwean government, military and police officials and their families.

*         Canada will summon the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Canada to convey messages to her home government.

*         Canada reconfirms its long-standing policy against exporting military goods to Zimbabwe.

*         The Government of Canada will not allow any aircraft registered in Zimbabwe to land in, or to fly over, Canada.

The Government of Canada encourages Canadian companies to voluntarily divest from Zimbabwe. Canada will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need in Zimbabwe through trusted Canadian and international partners.

“Canada is working with its partners in the G8 and elsewhere to ensure a concerted international approach to dealing with the flagrant abuse of the democratic process in Zimbabwe. The current government of Zimbabwe is illegitimate in the eyes of the international community. We call upon the United Nations Security Council and the African Union to condemn the election as illegitimate and to take further measures,” added Minister Emerson.

Canada commends the work of regional election observers in Zimbabwe, and notes in particular the interim report of the Pan African Parliament Election Observation Mission, released today, which stated that the elections had been marred by high levels of intimidation, violence, displacement of people, abductions and loss of life. It concluded that the elections were not free, fair, or credible.

The Minister further stressed that the Government of Canada is fully behind the people of Zimbabwe who have shown courage and determination in these difficult times.

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