EU puts pressure on Uganda in closed talks about anti-gay law

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Ugandan officials are holding talks with EU representatives over the country’s anti-homosexuality law.

The country’s foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, is meeting on Friday with the head of the EU delegation in Uganda, Kristian Schmidt.

“It is a dialogue between the European Union and the Uganda Government on the anti-homosexuality law,” Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, Fred Opolot, told AFP.

“It is going to be a closed meeting,” he added.

The EU is one of the top donors to Uganda, with more than 460 million euros channelled into aid programmes each year.

The European Parliament voted earlier this month to recommend heavy economic penalties, the denial of travel visas, the withdrawal of foreign aid and other sanctions against Uganda.

President Yoweri Museveni gave assent to a law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity in Uganda last month.

The World Bank, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, all halted aid to the Ugandan Government as a result of the decision of President Museveni.

America has said it will reduce the amount of aid going to Ugandan organisations who have expressed support for the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

President Museveni defended the legislation by saying that gay people give each other worms through sex.

He also described gay people as “disgusting”.