Kate Hoey on Mugabe attending EU-Africa Summit

Kate Hoey, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe, today condemned Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe’s planned attendance the 3rd EU-Africa Summit to be held in Tripoli, Libya on 29-30 November 2010.

She said "It is disgraceful that the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso will be welcoming Mugabe to a meeting sponsored by the EU."

"Mugabe is currently mobilising armed violence yet again to stamp on democratic expression in Zimbabwe. It will disgust most Zimbabweans to hear he is being allowed to join a conference with the themes of ‘peace, security, governance and human rights’.

"He and his ruthless military machine will revel in this opportunity to strut the international stage with EU leaders. What message does this send the brave people who are trying to fight violence, corruption and repression in Zimbabwe and other African countries?"

"Mugabe has ruthlessly destroyed the economy of Zimbabwe forcing millions of people to flee into exile in South Africa, the UK and elsewhere. Yet the EU thinks it is worth listening to his views on ‘migration, mobility and job creation’, another theme of the summit."

"These meetings are a complete con. African leader’s sign up to fine words but treat the people of the continent with utter contempt."

"In 2007 I travelled to Lisbon to protest in person against the Mugabe’s attendance at the 2nd EU-Africa Summit at the invitation of the Portuguese government. I was very proud that on behalf of the UK our then Prime Minister Gordon Brown boycotted that meeting in protest at Mugabe’s presence."

"Last week the Presidents of Mozambique and Zambia claimed they were ‘too busy’ to attend a working meeting to discuss the desperate crisis in Zimbabwe despite having committed themselves as guarantors of the so-called political settlement. Mugabe knows that guarantee means nothing and that is why he treats the Global Political Agreement with utter contempt – even though he solemnly signed it at a ceremony witnessed by African heads of state"

"Tripoli will be just another beano and a massive waste of British taxpayers’ money. Now we know why the EU spending is rising while we are suffering from huge budget cuts here in the UK. We should stop pandering to the vanity of African leaders until they show some concern for the welfare and political rights of the people of Africa. "

Kate Hoey MP, Chairman, APPG on Zimbabwe