UK: Zimbabwe envoy summoned to explain threats

Britain summoned the Zimbabwean ambassador in London Tuesday to explain a newspaper's apparent death threats against a British diplomat in Harare, calling the threats "shocking and absolutely unacceptable." On Tuesday Zimbabwe's state Herald newspaper called British embassy political officer Gillian Dare "the purse holder and financier" of an alleged opposition campaign of violence, and said it would be "a pity for her family to welcome her home at Heathrow Airport in a body bag." A Foreign Office spokeswoman said Tuesday permanent undersecretary Peter Ricketts, the Foreign Office's top civil servant, called Zimbabwe's ambassador to a meeting to express Britain's concerns. "He emphasized that we expect Zimbabwe to offer protection to our diplomats," the spokeswoman said. Dare remained at the embassy working as normal, she said, speaking on the government's customary condition of anonymity.