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Britain in a quandary over Mugabe

British Prime Minister David Cameron is in a quandary over whether to attend the African Union-European Union summit in Brussels in April now that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is eligible to attend. British legislator, Kate Hoey, one of the leading campaigners against Mugabe, today urged Cameron not to attend. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown boycotted the Lisbon AU-EU summit in 2007 after Mugabe was allowed to attend. Like this year’s summit, African leaders had said they would not attend the summit if Mugabe was not invited. Mugabe and nine other Zimbabweans, including his wife Grace, are still on European Union sanctions which should be reviewed this month. Belgium, which would like to capitalise on Zimbabwe’s diamonds, has been pressing the EU to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe. The first lot batch of Zimbabwe diamonds was sold in Antwerp in December and the second lot is due for auction this month. A Zimbabwe business delegation that toured Europe last month received a hostile reception in London but was feted in Brussels. The delegation led by Charles Msipa president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, was honoured with a celebratory lunch on 27 January by the Chambre de Commerce Belgique-Luxembourg-ACP, the Netherlands African Business Council, and the Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce.

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