Mugabe Faces Chilly Reception at African Summit

Zimbabwe prez faces pressure to negotiate
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2008 5:17 AM CDT
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe attends the assembly of the African Union heads of state and government in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, Monday, June 30, 2008. The African Union summit has opened in the Red...   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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(Newser) – Newly reinaugurated  Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe arrived today at an African Union summit where he is expected to face pressure to negotiate with the country's opposition. Although Mugabe walked into the conference at an Egyptian resort alongside other leaders, he has faced unprecedented criticism from African governments to yield to international demands, Reuters reports.

Yesterday the government of South Africa—whose president, Thabo Mbeki, has faced widespread criticism for being soft on Mugabe—released a statement calling for a unity government, the first time it has done so. Other African leaders echoed the sentiment. "There has to be some sort of negotiations between the parties," said Ethiopia's prime minister.