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De Beers execs meet with U.S. govt officials; requests sunrise period be extended another 12 months

Four De Beers executives met with U.S. government officials at the White House recently, as the company continued to lobby against a G7 sanctions proposal that would designate Antwerp as the sole entryway for importing diamonds into G7 countries.

On May 30, De Beers CEO Al Cook posted a photo on LinkedIn of himself and three other company execs at the White House. Pictured with Cook are Emma Wade-Smith, the former consul general for the U.K. embassy in Washington, D.C., who joined De Beers as senior vice president, government affairs, in February; De Beers’ chief of staff Morty Selelo; and Feriel Zerouki, senior vice president, corporate affairs.

“More diamonds are bought in the U.S. than in any other country,” Cook wrote on LinkedIn. “So one of my constant priorities is work[ing] with the U.S. government to ensure that De Beers Group’s diamonds are welcomed with open arms (and outstretched ring-fingers!)”

Following the meeting, De Beers issued a new statement on G7 sanctions, asking that the current “sunrise period” be extended another 12 months “to give the industry time to adapt to new requirements.” The second batch of sanctions is scheduled to be imposed in September.

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