Mugabe, Tsvangirai open Zimbabwe talks

Jan. 19, 2009 at 8:46 AM
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HARARE, Zimbabwe, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai met Monday in talks to form a power-sharing government, observers said.

Also included in the negotiations at a Harare hotel were regional leaders such as South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, who are seeking to break through an impasse over the allocation of government ministries in a unity government, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

The talks to form a long-delayed unity government are intended to overcome accusations by Tvansgirai's Movement for Democratic Change that Mugabe is intent on keeping all of the key ministries for his ZANU-PF party, which the MDC accuses of killing hundreds of its supporters in election violence last year.

Speaking to reporters Monday ahead of the talks, Arthur Mutambara, who leads a breakaway MDC faction, said, "Now is the time to find common ground among Zimbabweans. Now is the time for flexibility, compromise and pragmatism."

Tsvangirai returned to Zimbabwe Saturday, the first time he has been in the country since November, the Telegraph reported.

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