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Summit Boycott Pledge By Britain's Brown Draws Vitriol From Harare Press

Hopes that relations between Harare and London would have improved with the arrival of Prime Minister Gordon Brown are fast evaporating.

Mr. Brown declared last week in a London newspaper that it would be inappropriate for him to attend December's European Union-African Union Summit in Lisbon if President Robert Mugabe were to be present. He cited the country's steep descent into poverty and the human rights record of the Mugabe administration.

That statement drew a barrage of protests from Harare and some African leaders threatened to boycott the summit themselves if Mr. Mugabe were excluded.

This week, Harare's government-controlled Herald newspaper personalized the issue in an article that implied that Mr. Brown, of Scottish origin, was of much the same ilk as former Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and other Scots-descended Rhodesians.

Director Gordon Moyo of the Bulawayo Agenda told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that any expectations Mr. Brown would have taken a less confrontational line than his predecessor, Tony Blair, were misplaced.

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