Time to push for Zimbabwe's Mugabe to go – EU

"I think the moment has arrived to put all the pressure for Mugabe to step down," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told reporters ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Brussels.

Solana said it was possible that the 27-nation bloc could decide at the meeting to add up to 11 names to an already long list of Zimbabwean officials banned from travelling in Europe, but argued against any further sanctions on a country whose once-thriving economy is now devastated.

"Everything that can be done has been done…The important thing is the political pressure now," he said.

The United States said on Friday that Mugabe’s departure from office was long overdue and that a food crisis and cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe meant it was now vital for the international community to act.

Britain has told Zimbabwe’s neighbours they could expect firm international support for any effort to bring a "real change" to Zimbabwe.