via Bulawayo24 NEWS | Zimbabwe will not be represented at the EU-AU Summit 30 March 2014
PRESIDENT Mugabe will not attend this week’s Africa-European Union Summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha, said yesterday that President Mugabe would not travel to Brussels while Zimbabwe would also not be represented.
Ambassador Bimha said the President’s decision was motivated by the EU’s blatant disregard for the AU whose Peace and Security Council met last week and determined that Europe was holding Africa in contempt.
The AUPSC also advised member states not to attend the Summit.
Ambassador Bimha said consultations were still ongoing to decide whether other AU members should attend or not. He added that unconfirmed reports suggested AU Chair wanted the Summit to proceed as planned.
“President Mugabe will not be travelling to the Summit and there will be no Zimbabwean delegation at the Summit. This means our seat will be empty.
“The European Union did not implement what was agreed on at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa. The continent has agreed that it is not the duty of the EU bloc to choose the delegation of the member states.
“Consultations are still ongoing within Sadc and the continent for a common position. I have spoken with Dr Tax (Sadc Executive Secretary) in the afternoon and she was still consulting with other Heads of State in the region, but what is certain as of today is that there will be no Zimbabwean delegation at the Summit.
“Yes, there are some unconfirmed reports that we have received that the chairman said the Summit is still going ahead.”
The EU and AU are scheduled to meet in Brussels on April 2 and 3 to discuss strategic priorities between the two continents. The blocs will also review the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, which seeks to deepen relations through a “strengthened political partnership and enhanced co-operation at all levels”.
Ostensibly on account of its diplomatic row with Zimbabwe, the EU initially did not invite President Mugabe and only invited Zimbabwe. In diplomatic culture, Heads of State should be invited in their personal capacities.
The EU denied Grace Mugabe a visa to accompany her husband to the meeting.