With only about six months to go to the opening of a European Union-African Union summit in December in Lisbon, remarks by Portugal’s foreign minister prompted new speculation Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe might not get an invitation.
Agence France Press news service quoted Luis Amado as saying President Mugabe’s attendance would be a “factor of disturbance” at the EU-AU Summit, and that he personally had no interest in Mr. Mugabe “coming to Lisbon.”
However, a foreign ministry source told VOA that it was early days yet for Portugal, to take over the EU presidency in July from Germany and host the summit, to comment definitively on the composition of the summit invitation list.
Editor Patrick Smith of the London-based African Confidential newsletter told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that if Portugal disinvited Mr. Mugabe it would be reversing itself as it had been lobbying for his inclusion.
The African Union has stated that no African leader should be excluded. In 2003 such a summit was canceled when Africans boycotted it over Mr. Mugabe's exclusion.