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African Union: EU External Relations

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 July 2007, Official Report, column 1464W, on African Union: EU external relations, when invitations will be issued to the EU-AU Summit in Portugal; and what UK Government policy is on the attendance will be issued of the President of Zimbabwe. (155370)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The EU Presidency has not yet confirmed when invitations to the EU-Africa Summit will be issued.

Our policy on the attendance of President Mugabe has been made clear to the Presidency and to our European and African partners. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has publicly stated that he will not attend the summit if President Mugabe goes. We believe the EU-Africa summit can and should deliver progress on peace and security, growth, development, governance, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals. If President Mugabe were to attend, his presence would overshadow the summit, undermining the substantive business and dominating the media profile of the event. We are working with the Presidency and African partners to find an alternative solution.