Sub-Saharan Africa

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd January 2003.

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Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman Shadow Minister (Women), Shadow Secretary of State for International Development 11:30 am, 22nd January 2003

Several hon. Members have highlighted the plight of Zimbabwe and the fact that its suffering is among the worst of the sub-Saharan nations. The Secretary of State has said that the Government are doing all that they can, so I am sure that she will agree that, when innocent Zimbabweans face rape, murder, torture, starvation and ethnic cleansing at the hands of their Government, it would be an insult to their suffering if Robert Mugabe were allowed to visit Paris in February as a guest of the President of France. Can she reassure the House that reports that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is planning to waive a veto on the granting of a visa to Mugabe are untrue and that her Government will raise at the European Foreign Ministers meeting on Monday the strongest objections to this breach of the sanctions?