RAPAPORT… Key members of the Kimberley Process (KP) will meet on Tuesday in Brussels to try and resolve the disputes surrounding the status of rough diamond exports from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields.
Consultations will take place between various members of the working group for monitoring at the one-day meeting, a Kimberley Process spokesperson explained. It was not yet clear how much of a role Zimbabwe would have in this meeting.
The working group for monitoring is hoping to finalize a suitable agreement with Zimbabwe which will allow the country to export its diamonds within the Kimberley Process framework, after discussions reached a stalemate at the annual plenary in Jerusalem earlier in November. Tensions increased when the Kimberley Process monitor for Zimbabwe, Abbey Chikane, visited the country and gave his approval for the sale of $160 million (four million carats) worth of rough diamonds.
Chikane has insisted that while the sale was made, the goods remain in the country waiting for a final agreement to be reached before they are exported. Kimberley Process chairman Boaz Hirsch responded that no trade of Marange diamonds can currently take place until an agreement can be reached.