» Thursday, June 26, 2008


Asked whether the Prime Minister had any reaction to Nelson Mandela’s comments on Zimbabwe, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s general view on this was that there was growing international condemnation against Robert Mugabe and his regime and what they were doing to suppress the democratic will of the Zimbabwe people. We had seen a number of interventions from African leaders and African statesmen in recent days and Mr Mandela’s was the latest of these.

Asked if the Prime Minister recognised the significance of Mr Mandela’s comments, the PMS replied that it was an acknowledgement of the widening sense of condemnation of what Mr Mugabe was doing, from senior figures in Africa.

Asked what David Miliband would be doing about the situation at the G8 Foreign Minister’s meeting, the PMS said people should speak to the Foreign Office about what exactly was on the agenda, but he was sure Zimbabwe would come up and they would want to discuss what further steps could be taken. Asked if people could expect more to come out of the G8 in terms of action against the Mugabe regime, the PMS advised people to wait and see. At PMQ’s yesterday, the Prime Minister said we would continue to raise the issue of Zimbabwe in all of the international fora in which we were represented.

Put that David Miliband had written in his blog a while back that stripping Robert Mugabe of his knighthood would be an empty gesture and what had changed in this respect, the PMS replied that as we were making clear yesterday, we were not claiming this was the most significant of the measures that we were taking to deal with the current situation in Zimbabwe. As the Prime Minister and David Miliband had said, we needed to focus on issues that would ratchet up the international pressure on the Zimbabwe regime.

It was the view of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary that things had reached a point where it appeared inevitable that at some point, Mr Mugabe would be stripped of his knighthood. If we had taken that action last week, there was a risk that it would have been perceived as Britain against Zimbabwe. But in the light of the growing international condemnation for Mr Mugabe’s actions, we considered that now was the right time to take this action.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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