Zimbabwe Not a Member, but Mugabe Off to G-20 Summit in Turkey

g20 summit 2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe left Harare Friday to attend the G20 meeting of major world economies in Turkey.

Zimbabwe, with its economy in a shambles, is not a member of the grouping but that did not deter the country’s 91-year-old leader who stumbled and nearly fell during a recent visit to India.

The opportunity to hob-nob with world leaders including critics such as Barack Obama of the United States who maintains sanctions against Zimbabwe might have compelled Harare’s strongman.

Turkey said it expects Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Chinese President Xi Jinping, to attend the summit along with many other leaders around the world.

Mugabe has attracted criticism from the opposition for wasting millions of dollars travelling the world with little realised by way of benefits to a failed economy where unemployment is more than 80 percent.

The G-20 brings together the governments of 19 major economies and the European Union. South Africa is the continent’s sole representative on the international forum.

The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States along with the European Union.

The group meets annually with Turkey taking over the presidency from Australia, hosts of the summit last year.

Mugabe is presently chairman of the African Union.

The state-owned Herald reported that he was attending the summit at the invitation of Turkey.

The Zanu PF leader was recently in Tanzania for the inauguration of the country’s new president and, before that, had also been to India where he was filmed struggling to stay on his feet.

Other non-members invited by Turkey to the G-20 summit include Spain, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Senegal and Singapore.

Organisers said global economies, the worst migrant crisis since World War II and climate change are some of the issues expected to dominate the talks at the summit.

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Source: New Zimbabwe

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