Restrictions On Zimbabwe Diamonds Eased

By MATTHEW LEE

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The international body charged with monitoring and preventing the sale of blood diamonds is making it easier for Zimbabwe to export diamonds that are certified as "conflict-free."

Meeting in Washington, the members of the so-called "Kimberley Process" on Friday let lapse a requirement that mining at Zimbabwe's notorious Marange diamond fields be monitored. Allegations of violence and worker mistreatment at Marange led the group to impose monitoring on operations at the field last year.

The U.S. is the outgoing chair of the group and hosted this week's meeting. The three-day session didn't lead to consensus on a new definition for the term "conflict diamond." Discussions on that will continue next year when South Africa takes over as chair.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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