|The Portuguese Foreign Minister, Mr. Luís Amado, said today that there will be “no exclusions” in the summit EU-Africa. Speaking to journalists after the conference “Lisbon Energy Forum”, Mr. Amado said that “as a matter of principle, there are no exclusions in the summit between European Union and Africa.”|
Asked about the presence of Mr. Robert Mugabe, from Zimbabwe, Mr. Luís Amado replied that the Portuguese Government, which holds the European Union Presidency, “is still working” on the details of the meeting: “In the last days, there were no new developments. We are working on it, from the points of view of Europe and Africa”.
The British Prime-Minister, Mr. Gordon Brown, threatened to boycott the summit, if Robert Mubage is present. "I applaud the prime minister of Portugal for what he is trying to do to build stronger relations between Europe and Africa. This is a summit that is necessary for Africa's sake. But of course it would be totally inappropriate for me to be there if President Mugabe [is]”, Gordon Brown told BBC, on September 20.
The BBC's Europe editor, Mark Mardell, said diplomats were being "very active in trying to find a compromise" that could involve Zimbabwe being represented not by Robert Mugabe, but by another Government member.
This possible compromise “threw a lifeline to the Portuguese, who hold the EU presidency and are desperately looking for a diplomatic solution to avoid cancelling the meeting”, according to The Times. Mr Brown’s spokesman, quoted by The Times, said that if Robert Mugabe didn't attend the summit, and Zimbabwe was represented by other Government member, this “would be a different circumstance.”