Mugabe to attend Vatican ceremony
Published 30/04/2011 | 05:00
Robert Mugabe will attend the beatification of Pope John Paul II, writes Peter Popham in Rome.
It was revealed amid some embarrassment by the Vatican yesterday that the dignitaries expected to file past the casket tomorrow morning will include the Zimbabwean president.
His presence, explained Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, was a "function" of the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Zimbabwe, "so there is nothing to hide".
Mr Mugabe is the subject of an EU-wide travel ban and the Vatican had to obtain special permission for him to be allowed to enter the statelet. He attended the Pope's funeral, where he contrived to shake the hand of Prince Charles.