The Corner

And He’s a Diplomat, Too

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The spokesman for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is dismissing Western criticism of the country’s widely discredited elections. George Charamba told reporters at the African Union summit inEgypt on Tuesday that the United States, Britain and other European countries can “go hang” because they have no basis to condemn Mugabe.

Mugabe is under intense international criticism for winning a runoff in which he was the sole candidate after his opponent withdrew due to reported state-sponsored violence. Many Western countries have called the runoff a sham, and the U.S. is pushing for additional sanctions and an arms embargo against Zimbabwe.

But African leaders have been hesitant to publicly criticize Mugabe. Instead, some are gently urging Mubage to accept a power-sharing agreement with the opposition.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-01-08 0535EDT

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