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British PM Gordon Brown Confirms Mugabe Decision

PM confirms Mugabe decision

Gordon Brown has confirmed his decision not to attend the forthcoming EU Africa summit over the expected participation of Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

Speaking to journalists at his monthly press conference, the PM said he stood by his position not to "sit down" with President Mugabe given the "conditions of oppression and repression" in the country. Mr Mugabe should take responsibility for the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy and hold "free and fair elections", he added.

Mr Brown said that British attempts to bring assistance to Zimbabwe had been "thwarted and resisted" but that the offer of contributing to a "major reconstruction" remained open subject to democratic changes. The Prime Minister said that the Zimbabwe, once "one of Africa's wealthiest nations", now had 80 per cent of its people in poverty and a female life expectancy of just 34.

Mr Mugabe today confirmed his intention to attend the summit that takes place in Lisbon, Portugal from 8-9 December.


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