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Berlin Summons Zimbabwe Envoy Over Harare's Anti-Merkel Language

Germany's foreign minister registered a strong protest with a Zimbabwean official in Berlin over comments attributed to Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu in the state-controlled Herald newspaper published in response to her criticism of President Robert Mugabe during the just-ended European-African summit.

The German Foreign Ministry summoned Zimbabwe’s chargé d’affaires there Monday to object to the comments published by the Herald and attributed to Ndlovu in which he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel a “Nazi remnant” and a “racist.”

Ms. Merkel had criticized President Robert Mugabe at the European-African summit this past weekend, accusing his government of "trampling" on human rights.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier summoned the Zimbabwean envoy later on Monday and “made clear that the comments were in no way acceptable."

A German spokesman said the chargé d’affaires had been summoned because the Zimbabwean ambassador was out of town.

London-based foreign affairs analyst Innocent Sithole told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Ndlovu’s comments were "childish."

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...