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Zim Lobbying AU to Take Action on EU Moves to Silence Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi says Zimbabwe is lobbying the African Union to take a firm position against the European Union (EU) which is allegedly trying to block President Robert Mugabe from attending an Africa-EU summit in Belgium in April.

Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle are under targeted sanctions by the EU for alleged human rights abuses. But Mr. Mugabe has dismissed the allegations as unfounded.

Mumbengegwi told Xinhua that Harare wants the AU executive council to stand with Zimbabwe.

A similar meeting was delayed for 7 years until 2007 after African Nations sided with Mr. Mugabe. The meeting was held in Portugal but premiers of Britain and the Czech Republic boycotted. Washington also snubbed Harare in its August US-Africa summit.

But Harare dismissed the summit as a non-event.

EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell Arricia said Zimbabwe’s actions are premature as the EU is set to review sanctions next month.

International Relations expert Clifford Mashiri, who once worked at the Zimbabwe Embassy in Ethiopia said Zimbabwe is trying to test the waters ahead of the sanctions review.