Mugabe cancels Geneva trip in visa protest

Published on, by and agencies, October 26, 2011.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has cancelled a trip to Geneva to attend an international conference after his wife and five officials were refused visas … // 

… Mugabe and his entourage have been subject to a European Union visa ban since 2002, over accusations of electoral fraud, violations of human rights and repression of the media.

However, this ban is not normally applied in the case of summits organised by the United Nations or its agencies, such as the Telecom meeting.

The Herald quoted a senior official of the Zimbabwean foreign ministry describing the Swiss decision as “a clear violation of the United Nations headquarters’ host agreement and Zimbabwe’s sovereign right to determine the composition of its delegation”.

The private NewsDay newspaper reported that the visas had eventually been granted, but that Mugabe had cancelled his trip in protest.

The Swiss embassy in Harare has not commented on the affair. (full text).

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