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Zimbabwe's Mugabe Calls For Lifting of Sanctions, Attacks Bush, Blair

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, on a three-day official visit to Zambia has denounced former United States President George W. Bush and ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying they are "shameless liars."

Mr. Mugabe, who arrived in Lusaka Thursday where he will officially open the 86th edition of the Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show Saturday, made the remarks at a press conference after holding a meeting with former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda.

Mr. Mugabe said Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair lied about the Iraq war. He also castigated fellow African States for allowing the West to interfere with the political processes in Egypt, Libya and other Arab nations rocked by the so-called Arab spring revolution.

Reports indicate that Mr. Mugabe’s remarks were not well received by a skeptical press forcing Kaunda to defend him saying the media must not demonize the veteran Zimbabwean leader.

At a dinner hosted for him by his Zambian counterpart Michael Sata, Mr. Mugabe described as meaningless the recent gesture by the European Union (EU) to partially lift targeted sanctions imposed on him and his inner circle.

He said the sanctions are hurting the ordinary people.The EU has said Mr. Mugabe must introduce democratic reforms before sanctions can be lifted but Mr. Mugabe wants the unconditional lifting of the sanctions.

Executive Director Neo Simutanyi of the Lusaka-based Center for Policy Dialogue told VOA that Harare and Lusaka enjoy cordial relations.

Political analyst Gladys Hlatywayo says Mr. Mugabe must initiate democratic reforms before calling for the lifting of targeted sanctions.