Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Monday, 2 June 2008 13:39 UK

Mugabe in Rome - your comments

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe raises his fist on May 29, 2008 at a rally in Mvurwi some 100km from Harare.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Rome to attend a United Nations food summit.

It is Mr Mugabe's first visit to Europe since the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won a majority in parliamentary elections in March. Mr Mugabe and his ministers are usually subject to a European Union travel ban - but he is able to attend UN forums.

BBC News website readers express their views on President Mugabe's visit.

Mugabe should not be prevented from attending the FAO summit. It is an opportunity for the world leaders who take to the stage to condemn the situation in Zimbabwe in his presence. As Zimbabweans we know that Mugabe blames everyone else for the situation in Zimbabwe other than himself and his government. It is time world leaders told him that his rhetoric is useless. His legacy will be of a horrible and unintelligent man who used force and brutality to starve fellow citizens. Mugabe is no better than Idi Amin and Hitler. Do us a favour, arrest him in Rome and fly him to the Hague for a trial for human rights abuses.
Robson, Harare, Zimbabwe

Let Mugabe get the platform to say his side of the story when he presents his speech in Rome. Mugabe is the only African president to stand up for the rights of the blacks. Mugabe is being made to suffer for taking African land from the whites and giving it back to blacks, something that will never be done by any other African president for fear of persecution by the superior whites.
Isaac, Harare, Zimbabwe

Itís a disgrace. He is not there for the summit but for him and his wife to shop. We have nothing here; no clean electricity.. no food in the shops and the money that some of us have who are still lucky to be employed is not even enough to survive for the whole month.
Beche, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Mugabe, as a human being and a head of state, has every right to attend the Rome summit. The west started to hate Mugabe after he took land from the whites who controlled the fertile land of Zimbabwe illegaly. Shame on the western media to put out biased reports on the Zimbabwe election. The western media started to announce the "defeat" of Mugabe while the vote counting had not even started. Is this professional journalism or propaganda against Mugabe? Let him be a leader as long as his people want him.
Teklu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

I think it is a shocker that Bob Mugabe was allowed to travel to the summit, especially the food summit, right now not many of us here in South Africa are proud of our nation given the recent events in our own country, but allowing that maniac access to world travel boggles the mind. It will be interesting to know who is paying his hotel bill I hope itís not in Zimbabwean dollars.
Neill, Cape Town, South Africa

This is a travesty to the suffering people of Zimbabwe. The country has a critical food shortage because of Mugabe yet the UN invites him to come to a forum to attack the West. What kind of an organisation is the UN? No wonder George Bush ignored it and invaded Iraq. The UN is the most dysfunctional organisation. They are full of empty useless rhetoric. Mugabe should not have been allowed to go to Rome. In fact he is going to use this chance to have a go at the West whom he perceives to be his principal foes in the battle to mantain his stronghold on Zimbabweans. Shame on the UN, you are full of double-standards, that is why people in Africa will never take you seriously.You are just a joke and you must be ashamed of your performance in Africa.
Sydney, Manchester, UK

Mugabe is the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe. He should attend these conferences without hindrance. The EU must stop their regime change agenda, stop sanctions and let the people of Zimbabwe have a leadership of their choice. The MDC is being forced upon the people of Zimbabwe by Western countries who want to retain control of the economy in the hands of descendants of imperialist Rhodes and his cronies. Mugabe genuinely has the interests of Zimbabweans who have been given a raw deal for the last 110 years
Stephen, Harare, Zimbabwe

The world fiddles while Zimbabwe burns.
David, Melbourne, Florida, USA

There is nothing wrong with Mr Mugabe attending the summit, since Zimbabwe is still a member of the UN. Other leaders at the summit should tell him the truth that he needs to know in a pleasant way not in the harsh way, as if they have a personal interest in the individual rather than the country. Criticism is like a tonic to him to move ahead with his own plan. Zimbabwe is for all - Zanu-PF and the opposition.
Onibode, Lagos, Nigeria

This man should not be allowed to enter the EU, a travel ban is a travel ban. He should at least be detained and investigated for the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe. Who will come to his defence? His rhetoric should not be allowed to be broadcast to further his political aims.
Richard, Poole, UK

Robert Mugabe is showing the world that an ordinary man, representing a small country in Africa, can stand against the criticisms of world powers like the USA, UK and EU!
Umali, Marikina, Philippines

Allowing Mugabe to attend the summit is monstrous. I grew up in Zimbabwe and lived there for 16 years, watching this man gut a country and the livelihood of everyone around me. Why does the international community tolerate this? Does one have to find oil in Zimbabwe before someone gets interested?
Marcel, Wuerzburg, Germany

It is not appropriate for him to attend because he is starving people in his own country and hence increasing the population in my country - Zambia. Many people from Zimbabwe are involving themselves in prostitution in Zambia because of the hunger problem. He should not attend.
Tamika, Lusaka, Zambia

Despite Mr Mugabe being an oppressive ruler, I see no point in barring him from UN meetings. After all, Zimbabwe is a major issue for a food conference. He will use any publicity to preach his own cause but he would only have a more powerful argument if he could say: "the West is discussing hunger and leaving us out." Leaders who oppose Mugabe should concentrate on the weaknesses of his rhetoric, instead of resorting to sheer judgmentalism. The best way to support Zimbabwe's opposition is to offer them examples of reasoned democratic dialogue.
Jari, Helsinki, Finland

No he should not attend; he should be behind bars, at the Hague, awaiting his own trial for crimes against humanity and genocide. The guy is a complete monster, and the only reason he is still in charge is because there is no oil in Zimbabwe and Britain is too weak and pathetic to take on this genocidal megalomaniac.
P. Lemon, Penryn, Cornwall, UK

I think it is laughable that a man, who has dragged his country into squalor, gets to use a very important public forum to spout his racist rhetoric. Zimbabwe used to be an amazing country, but he has repeatedly crushed his own people to further his own goals against us, the 'oppressive' west. It is about time Africa started getting this 'gentleman' in order. For the sake of his people and Africa
Chris, Preston, UK

Mr Mugabe attending a UN food summit is like Adolf Hitler attending a UN human rights summit.
John, Yelm, Washington, USA

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