Italy wants EU ambassadors out of Zimbabwe

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Italy wants EU ambassadors out of Zimbabwe

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As voting continues in Zimbabwe’s run-off presidential election, Italy has called for the withdrawal of all European ambassadors from the country.

Robert Mugabe is the only candidate in the election.
His rival Morgan Tsvangirai has withdrawn, because of violence against his supporters.

But Mugabe has rejected all criticism by the international community of the ballot, which most observers say will be a sham.

Among the critics, are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon, who has called for a postponement, and foreign ministers for the Group of Eight nations, who have issued a statement condemning the poll.

Meeting in Kyoto, they said they could not accept the legitimacy of a government “that does not reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people”.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said: “The language of condemnation in the presidential statement is something that I think is very important in trying to take away the last shreds of legitimacy that exist for the Mugabe regime and we look forward to taking forward that debate at the UN.”

Mugabe has said he would talk to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, but only after the vote.

Tsvangirai, who has taken refuge in the Dutch embassy, has ruled out any post-election negotiations.