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Madagascar Crisis Talks Focus on Amnesty

By VOA News
07 August 2009

Madagascar rivals are focusing on the question of amnesty for ousted President Marc Ravalomanana on the third day of mediation talks Friday.

Interim leader Andry Rajoelina, who seized power with the military's help in March, expressed optimism about the talks despite differences on the amnesty issue.

Mr. Rajoelina has warned that Mr. Ravalomanana will be arrested if he returns to the island nation.

The mediation effort is being led by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano in Mozambique's capital, Maputo. Mr. Chissano has said the talks are going well.

The rivals met Wednesday for their first face-to-face meeting since Mr. Ravalomanana was forced from power.

The interim leader has accused Mr. Ravolomanana of corruption, a charge the ousted president denies.

Mr. Rajoelina became interim president after launching street protests in January that eventually resulted in Mr. Ravalomanana's departure from the country.

The international community has refused to recognize Mr. Rajoelina as president, saying his takeover was illegal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.



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