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Zimbabwe's President Says British Efforts to Isolate Him Are Failing

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says British-led efforts to isolate his country and keep him away from the upcoming European Union-Africa summit are disintegrating.

Mr. Mugabe made the comments during his annual state of the union address to Zimbabwe's parliament Tuesday.

Mr. Mugabe thanked European and African nations for what he said was their support for him attending the December 8 and 9 summit.

Summit host Portugal is allowing Mr. Mugabe to attend despite a visa ban by the European Union, which accuses the Zimbabwean president of gross human rights abuses.

Earlier today, Spain said Mr. Mugabe would be a distraction at the summit and said it would prefer he stayed away. Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has said he will boycott the summit if Mr. Mugabe is present.

In comments last week, Mr. Brown accused the Zimbabwean president of oppression and called him to take responsibility for the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy.

The Zimbabwean government has forcibly stifled opposition while struggling to deal with critical shortages of food, fuel and other basic goods. The country's official inflation rate stands at more than seven thousand percent, though some analysts have put the figure much higher.

Mr. Mugabe blames his country's problems on sanctions against his government by the United States and Britain.

On Monday, the U.S. said it will impose travel restrictions on an additional 38 people with ties to the government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.