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Mugabe meets EU officials, says meeting 'quite friendly'

  • Story Highlights
  • Of EU meeting, Mugabe said "there was no animosity, it was quite friendly"
  • EU officials in Zimbabwe to ease relations, push progress on political reforms
  • European Union imposed travel bans on Mugabe, his representatives in 2002
  • President Robert Mugabe says West tries to impose its rules on Zimbabwe
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HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- A European Union delegation met Saturday with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, who said the parties had established a "good rapport."

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace arrive for a ZANU PF party youth conference on September 11, 2009

President Mugabe and his wife, Grace, arrive for a ZANU PF party youth conference on Friday.

"There was no animosity, it was quite friendly," Mugabe said.

Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish minister for International Development Cooperation, said the parties "definitely made some progress."

"Of course we didn't agree with everything Mr. Mugabe said, but it was a correct meeting and we exchanged views," Carlsson, who is heading the mission, told CNN's Rosemary Church.

The delegation met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai later on Saturday.

Carlsson spokesman Peter Larsson had said earlier that "there was no sense of any hostility from Mugabe." Larsson was referring to remarks the Zimbabwean president made Friday, when he condemned "bloody whites" for meddling in his country's affairs. Carlsson is heading the mission to Zimbabwe.

"Sanctions or no sanctions, Zimbabwe remains ours," .Mugabe told his ZANU-PF party's youth conference in Harare on Friday.

"Who said the British and the Americans should rule over others? That's why we say, down with you. We have not invited these bloody whites. They want to poke their nose into our own affairs. Refuse that," he said.

The European Union imposed travel bans on Mugabe and his representatives in 2002. The bans were imposed after accusations of human rights violations and election fraud.

In addition to travel restrictions, the European Union has frozen the assets of more than 200 Zimbabweans for allegedly violating human rights, according to Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU this year.

On Saturday, Mugabe again addressed "sanctions," saying he was dismayed that they were not lifted after meeting with the EU delegation.

"I have always been disappointed with sanctions on Zimbabwe," he said, adding that the EU delegation "thought things were not working, yet we did all the things we were asked to do" under a power-sharing agreement signed in September last year.

Larsson said there was no discussion about the restrictions at the meeting.

Under the agreement, which was to end months of turmoil and violence that followed the country's March 2008 presidential elections, Mugabe retained his office, and opposition leader Tsvangirai became prime minister.

The agreement -- the Global Political Agreement-- spelled out a number of fundamental democratic reforms, but so far there has been no progress toward them, Carlsson said in a statement ahead of the meetings with Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

"There have not yet been clear positive developments in all areas. I am still concerned at the lack of democratic development," she said then.

After meeting with Tsvangirai, Carlsson told CNN that "Tsvangirai's government is working hard towards the implementation of the political agreement."

She added, "After such a long time of oppression, it is of course hard to move forward and change will take some time. But the EU is committed to follow up on this progress and encourage change."

CNN's Per Nyberg in London, England, contributed to this report

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