Mugabe and Ahmadinejad excluded from dinner at UN summit
03 Jun 2008
The leaders of Zimbabwe and Iran were excluded from the opening dinner at a UN summit on rising food prices on Monday.
Neither Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were invited.
The official dinner was hosted by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for heads of state attending the summit from 3-5 June.
Western ministers said Mr Mugabe was responsible for food shortages faced by millions in Zimbabwe's shattered economy. He has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
Inflation in Zimbabwe is 165,000%, unemployment is at 80% and there are chronic shortages of basic necessities including food and fuel. About 3.5 million people have fled to escape poverty.
Before leaving for Rome, President Ahmadinejad said that Israel would soon disappear off the map, and the "satanic power" of the United States would be destroyed.
Rome is the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
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