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Govt refutes sanction claims

THE government has strongly dismissed un- founded claims that the European Parliament has imposed economic sanctions on Tanzania and suspended its support to the country, calling on the public to ignore the rumours since they have no good intention to the nation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation said on Friday in a statement availed to the media that the circulating reports were utterly false because the EU legislative organ had not convened.

According to the government, the meeting held on November 19 this year was just a regular session for European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs to discuss various issues within and outside Europe as part of the ongoing session of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

“The committee members exchanged views on various issues, including the political situation in Tanzania after the General Election ... this is a normal system for the Parliament to make such an assessment of its partner states once they conclude elections,” reads part of the statement.

The statement said that the European Parliament is composed of 705 members who have the power to make resolutions...“the committee has no authority to make any declaration, what was done was just an exchange of views.”

It said that claims that the EU Parliament suspended its Euro 626 million support it has been providing Tanzania annually for the implementation of various development projects was not discussed during the meeting, and that such amount of money has not been given to Tanzania.

On imposing economic sanctions on Tanzania, the government said that the EU Parliament has not resolved to take such measures against the country, adding that there is no ongoing discussion about the matter and trade relations between Tanzania and Europe. 

The government, however, assured Tanzanians that the relationship between Tanzania and EU is progressing well and becoming stronger, and that both parties are cooperating in various areas for mutual benefits.

Tanzania’s Ambassador to Belgium, who is also Tanzania’s representative to the European Union, Ambassador Jestas Nyamanga said that the relationship between Tanzania and EU has existed for more than 45 years, adding that the bilateral ties were still stronger.

“I would like to assure the public that Tanzania and the European Union have good relationship ... we are cooperating in various issues related to development which are beneficial to both sides.He dismissed the reports that EU has suspended the release of Euro 626 million (equivalent to 1.6tr/-) it has been providing Tanzania annually. “It is not true that such amount of money is being given to Tanzania annually, and there is no resolution endorsed to suspend the release of the funds,” Ambassador Nyamanga said.

He said the meeting held in November 19 this year was just an ordinary session for members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and not all members of the European Parliament. He said that the committee comprises of 71 members, but those who shared their views were only five.

The circulating rumours in social networks claim that the EU Parliament has resolved to withdraw support to Tanzania, including loans and grants, imposed economic sanctions and restricted the nation from trading with any European country.

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