Wednesday, December 16, 2009
UN loophole sees Mugabe join climate talks
Copenhagen - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe arrived in Denmark on Tuesday to attend United Nations climate talks, despite Western sanctions on his travel and public disapproval from his Danish hosts. Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said that Mugabe was allowed to attend the Copenhagen climate conference because of rules that permit him to attend UN meetings, over-riding European Union and United States travel bans. "That is the spirit of the UN - that the world needs a place where we can meet with those we basically don't like. And I guess that is how you can characterise the person you're asking about," Rasmussen said when questioned about Mugabe. Mugabe's arrival prompted local media to ask whether Danish leaders would shake the 85-year-old African leader's hand and whether, as elder statesman, Mugabe will be seated next to Denmark's Queen Margrethe at a dinner on Thursday for heads of state and government attending the climate conference.