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Spain's Zapatero snubs Rwanda's Kagame

 Demonstrators are seen with masks and a poster of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during a protest in Madrid on Friday, July 16, 2010. Kagame will co-...
 A man with a gag stands in front of a 'Wanted Poster' of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during a protest in Madrid on Friday, July 16, 2010. Kagame w...

Spain UN Rwanda Protest

Demonstrators are seen with masks and a poster of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during a protest in Madrid on Friday, July 16, 2010. Kagame will co-...

Spain UN Rwanda Protest

A man with a gag stands in front of a 'Wanted Poster' of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame during a protest in Madrid on Friday, July 16, 2010. Kagame w...

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has refused to meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame at a U.N. meeting here following protests against the African leader.
Zapatero was to meet Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at government headquarters Friday for a first session of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group.
Ban chose Zapatero and Kagame to preside over the group as part of preparations for a September U.N summit on reducing poverty.
But complaints by human rights groups and opposition parties led the government to move the meeting to a Madrid hotel and Zapatero sent his foreign minister in his place.
At U.N. headquarters in New York, associate spokesman Farhan Haq said "the co-chairs remain as they are."
"The secretary-general trusts that they will continue to participate in the work of the MDG Advocacy Group in the run-up to this September's meeting in New York," he said.
Haq said Kagame was chosen to co-chair the group because of Rwanda's achievements in meeting the anti-poverty goals and said "the government of Spain had been fully informed of the choice of president Kagame as one of the co-facilitators." He said he wasn't aware of any objections raised by Spain to the choice.
A U.S. lawsuit accuses Kagame of ordering the downing of a plane carrying Rwanda's president in 1994. The crash sparked a genocide that left at least 500,000 people dead.
Kagame's rebel army helped end the 100-day slaughter by overthrowing the government.


Updated : 2021-08-06 00:45 GMT+08:00