Francois responds; Francois Misser: "Mrs Kinnock does not comment on the fact that the EU Council Common Position concerning the travel ban, provides an exemption".

Author:Misser, Francois
Position:Right of Reply - Brief Article

I am glad to note that Mrs Kinnock whose anti-Mugabe campaign is common knowledge, says that she did not lobby the European Parliament to ban the Zimbabwean delegates from attending the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meeting, and that she did not utter any threat to withdraw European aid to the ACP countries.

That said, the threat to withdraw aid to the ACP was not invented by me. The Greens in the European Parliament issued a communique on 25 November 2002 condemning "the threats made by some members from the big groups against the ACP countries in an attempt to make the later change their mind".

The claim by Mrs Kinnock that she worked "closely" with her "ACP Co-President" contrasts sharply with the ACP declaration of 25 November, in which the ACP countries said "they were informed of the European Parliament's decision to bar two members of the Zimbabwe delegation from access to its premises, without prior consultation or an opinion of the joint organs of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly".

Again, Mrs Kinnock's efforts "to find a solution" do not appear to convince the ACP much as they stated further: "The ACP members, in their desire for compromise, strove for a long time to find a solution by inviting the European members of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, hosts of the 5th session, to seek a solution, including the selection of another venue...

"This desire to find a satisfactory compromise came against a categorical refusal by the European side, which expressed no desire to find a solution other than to ask the ACP members to align themselves with the European Parliament's decision".

I am also glad that Mrs Kinnock does not dispute the fact that the European Parliament's decision, which she supported, unless she tells us otherwise, was not consistent with Article 17 of the Cotonou Agreement. According to the ACP: "It calls into question the...

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