BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 16:48 GMT
Lisbon wants Mugabe to stay away
Robert Mugabe would be an unwelcome guest in Lisbon
Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe should consider staying away from the forthcoming EU-African summit,according to the host nation, Portugal.

"If you ask me if I would like him to come to Lisbon I would say that I would prefer that he ... not come," said Foreign Minister Luis Amado. British prime minister Gordon Brown has said he will stay away from the December meeting if Mr Mugabe attends.

But African states have made it clear that they want Mr Mugabe to attend.

And Mr Mugabe says he does want to be there.

Earlier this month the African Union (AU) chairman, John Kufuor of Ghana, told the BBC that Mr Mugabe had every right to attend the summit.


Britain accuses Mr Mugabe of human rights abuses and rigging elections. Scandinavian EU members have also voiced concern about him.

Mr Amado is a reluctant host where Mr Mugabe is concerned

He is subject to a travel ban in Europe and his government is under EU sanctions. But travel bans are traditionally lifted for big international meetings.

Portugal says everyone will be invited, and it is up to each individual country to decide the level of its representation.

But Mr Amado told Portugese radio that Mr Mugabe's presence would "create noise around the summit that ... will distract from the essential points."

Country profile: Zimbabwe
20 Sep 07 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific