Charles shakes hands with Mugabe at funeral

The Prince of Wales shook hands with the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at the Pope's funeral today.

The Prince of Wales shook hands with the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at the Pope's funeral today.

Charles, who was seated one place away from the president, was "caught by surprise" when Mugabe leaned over to greet him, Clarence House said.

President Mugabe side-stepped a European Union travel ban to attend the service in Rome.

His presence was condemned as an insult when it emerged yesterday with one Euro MP describing it as a "flagrant breach of the EU travel ban".

President Mugabe has just won an election in which criticism of Britain and Prime Minister Tony Blair was a main plank of his party's campaign.

The validity of the election has also been questioned by observers.

Last year British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was condemned after he shook hands with the president at a United Nations summit in New York.

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