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AU leaders call for power-sharing

world Updated: Jul 02, 2008 10:31 IST
African leaders

African leaders have called for dialogue between Zimbabwe's political foes and a national unity government following President Robert Mugabe's widely discredited reelection.

A two-day African Union summit agreed "to encourage President Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai to initiate dialogue with a view to promoting peace, stability," in a final resolution.

The summit, held amid mounting Western calls for sanctions, also decided "to support the call for the creation of a government of national unity, to support SADC (Southern African Development Community) facilitation".

The SADC regional body has already been leading mediation efforts between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

According to host country Egypt, Mugabe did not object to the resolution.

"We didn't hear Zimbabwe say 'no' to the resolution. They did not object to the resolution," foreign ministry spokesman Hossan Zaki told reporters in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday as African leaders left for home.

"Mugabe didn't leave before the resolution was adopted. He said there is an ongoing dialogue with MDC as we were speaking," he said.

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade, speaking to the French radio RFI, said his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki had proposed in the closed-door talks that Mugabe share power with Tsvangirai.

In Harare, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said his opposition group would also carefully examine the resolution. "We need to understand the resolution first, then we will issue a full statement," he told AFP.