Recognise me as president or no talks: Mugabe

However 84-year-old Mugabe, the continent's oldest leader, escaped serious censure from his peers at this week's summit which instead ended with relatively bland calls for the formation of a national unity government.

Recognise me as president or no talks: Mugabe
Robert Mugabe ruled out the prospect of talks with his opponents on ending Zimbabwe's political crisis on Friday unless they acknowledged his victory in a one-man presidential election.

Speaking to thousands of supporters after flying home from an African Union summit, Mugabe said opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai should not "delude" himself into thinking the result of the June 27 poll could be expunged from the record books and should renounce his claims to the presidency.

"I am the president of the republic of Zimbabwe and that is the reality," he said at Harare airport where some 4,000 supporters had gathered to welcome him back from the AU summit in Egypt. "Everybody has to accept that if they want to dialogue," added Mugabe.

"If they agree on that, and we are satisfied, then we shall go into dialogue and listen to them by way of ideas (but) those votes can never be thrown away."

The run-off election, boycotted by Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai after deadly attacks on his supporters, was widely denounced as a sham by Western governments.

However 84-year-old Mugabe, the continent's oldest leader, escaped serious censure from his peers at this week's summit which instead ended with relatively bland calls for the formation of a national unity government.

Reuters
Last Mod: 05 Temmuz 2008, 15:18
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