Zenawi excluded from G8 dinner

dictator excluded from g8 dinnerBy RTT Staff Writer / July 10, 2008 -The G-8 leaders have sparked outrage after it was revealed they feasted on sumptuous food consisting of a six-course lunch followed by an eight-course dinner at the G-8 summit where the global food crisis was one of the topics high on the agenda.

Just hours after stressing that they were “deeply concerned” over rising food prices and supply shortages, and urging the world to reduce the “unnecessary demand” for food, the leaders of the eight industrialized nations were served 24 different lavish dishes by their Japanese host during their first day at the summit.

Ironically, leaders from Africa – where some of the world’s poorest nations exist – – including the heads of Ethiopia, Tanzania and Senegal, who had taken part in the talks, were excluded from the feast organized by the Japanese government in Hokkaido, according to media reports.

The dinner consisted of 18 dishes in eight courses, including caviar, smoked salmon, Kyoto beef and a “G8 fantasy dessert”. Five different wines from around the world, including champagne, a French Bourgogne and sake accompanied the banquet.

The dinner came just hours after a “working lunch” consisting of six courses, including white asparagus and truffle soup, crab and a supreme of chicken.

British opposition politicians and charities have lashed out at the extravagant dishes served out amid growing concern over rising food prices triggered by a shortage of many basic commodities that have led to food riots in many countries.

Dominic Nutt, of Britain’s Save the Children, said Tuesday it is deeply hypocritical of G-8 leaders that they should be indulging in such lavish feast when there is a food crisis and millions cannot afford a decent meal to eat in a day.

Andrew Mitchell, the shadow International Development Secretary, also acknowledged the G-8 has got off to an inappropriate start to its summit, with excessive cost and lavish consumption.

“Surely it is not unreasonable for each leader to give a guarantee that he will stand by their solemn pledges of three years ago at Gleneagles (Scotland) to help the world’s poor.”

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