Barbarians of a feather, rot together
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith called Mugabe's presence in Rome "obscene". Britain also criticised Mugabe's rare foray out of Zimbabwe where he is fighting for his political future in an election runoff.
"This is the person who has presided over the starvation of his people. This is the person who has used food aid in a politically motivated way," Smith said.
"So Robert Mugabe turning up to a conference dealing with food security or food issues is, in my view, frankly obscene," added the Australian minister, who is also to attend the Food and Agriculture Organization summit.
There were also protests in Italy by activists, leftist politicians and Jewish groups against Mugabe and Ahmadinejad.
"It is in no way legitimate for the people of Zimbabwe to be represented by a head of state who has been disowned by the international community and who is unwanted by his own people," Sergio Marelli, Italian host of a forum on food sovereignty coinciding with the summit, told AFP.
"We are against all dictatorships," Radical Party spokeswoman Anita Friedman told AFP.
Zimbabwe faces acute food shortages after land reforms and the collapse of the farming sector.
The 84-year-old president is subject to a travel ban to the European Union because of sanctions imposed after he allegedly rigged his re-election in 2002, but is able to attend UN forums.
Ahmadinejad's presence at the summit "addressing the tragedy of hunger in the world symbolises the devastating contradiction between the violence of totalitarian governments and their demogogic statements," demonstration organisers said in a statement.
"For nearly 30 years, the rulers in Tehran have negated the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, women, gays, student associations and anyone who does not agree with the regime's policies," the statement said. (more here)
Meanwhile, the poison dwarf, yet again, threatened the tiny Jewish state with annihilation:
Iran's president took yet another swipe at Israel and the U.S. today claiming the former "would soon disappear off the map" while he branded the latter a "satanic power" which faced destruction.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke out at a gathering of foreign guests marking this week's 19th anniversary of the death of Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
He said: "You should know that the criminal and terrorist Zionist regime which has 60 years of plundering, aggression and crimes in its file has reached the end of its work and will soon disappear off the geographical scene."
Turning to the United States, he added that the era of decline and destruction of its "satanic power" had begun. He said: "The bell on the countdown of the destruction of the empire of power and wealth has begun to ring."