It is now reported that Mugabe has accepted an invitation from the Portuguese Government. Furthermore the British Government will be sending a Minister to the Summit and refusing to exercise its power to maintain EU sanctions excluding Mugabe.
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP has led the European Parliament's opposition to the Mugabe regime. He has been personally banned from entering Zimbabwe and in the last few days has written to all 27 governments within the EU to encourage them to take a robust stand.
"The British Government should exercise its right to block the Portuguese Government obtaining an exemption to the EU's ban on Mugabe, and it should not dignify the summit with a British Minister of State.
"It should never have come to this. The British Government should have been more effective in its international diplomacy, and the EU should at least have made some effort to live up to its own principles.
"It is an affront to the millions of Zimbabweans abused and dispossessed by Mugabe that he is being given a platform in Lisbon. So much for EU concerns about human rights and good governance in Africa.
"It is not surprising that many in Britain regard the EU's efforts at assuming a meaningful role on the world stage as, at best, empty posturing, and at worst, a cynical pursuit of someone else's foreign policy interests."
Geoffrey Van Orden MEP is Conservative MEP for the East of England and Conservative Defence Spokesman. Over many years he has initiated the European Parliament's tough resolutions on Zimbabwe.