African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".

Mbeki due in Harare as deal nears in Zimbabwe political crisis

Posted by African Press International on August 10, 2008

South African President Thabo Mbeki is expected in Zimbabwe on Saturday amid reports that the countrys feuding parties have reached a pact to end an eight-year political crisis.

Mbeki is expected to hold meetings with President Robert Mugabe and the two faction leaders of a split opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

Sources indicate that he would table a proposal on a power-sharing deal that was agreed by the negotiators from Mugabes ZANU PF and the MDC factions in inter-party talks being mediated by South Africa.

Mbeki is facilitating the talks under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The sources further said that he would first holding separate meetings withthe three Zimbabwean leaders before arranging a joint meeting where they are expected to endorse the draft deal agreed by their representatives in Pretoria.

The successful resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis would be a major diplomatic coup for the embattled Mbeki, who has been criticised for taking a softly stance against alleged human rights abuses by Mugabes government.

A deal this weekend would help restore the South African leaders battered image as his country prepares to take over the chairmanship of SADC from Zambia.

A SADC summit is scheduled to be held in South Africa on August 14 and 15.



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