In English

Congo president plans to attend G20 economic summit

Seven African heads of state were reported Thursday to have mandated Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso to attend next month's G20 financial summit in Washington even though he has not been invited.

Sassou Nguesso said Wednesday that it was "unacceptable" that Africa had not been invited to the summit which will consider the future of the global financial system.The Congolese president "will go to Washington", said Henri Djombo, the country's forestry economy minister.

He was given a mandate by the heads of state of Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Sao Tome and Togo who were attending the sixth World Forum for Sustainable Development in Brazzaville.

"The heads of state decided that President Denis Sassou Nguesso could argue the case for Africa on the occasion of the historic meeting of November 15 in Washington," Djombo said, reading a statement from the forum's 1,348 participants.

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai backed the plan.

In fact the G20 will be attended by South Africa. But Sassou Nguesso said on Wednesday that the invitation to South Africa was not sufficient.

"It is understood... that South Africa is invited not in the name of Africa but as an emerging country," he said.

"What is at stake today is the future of the world, Africa cannot be kept on the sidelines because in fact it is the future of the world."

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