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Top Mugabe Official Says Talks With Opposition to Resume Soon

By VOA News
08 July 2008

A top Zimbabwean official says talks to resolve the country's political crisis will resume soon.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Tuesday representatives of the Movement for Democratic Change have agreed to meet with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, though he did not say when the talks will occur.

A senior MDC official, Tendai Biti, refused to confirm or deny the report, but told the French news agency, AFP, that "dialogue is inevitable." However, opposition party spokesman, Nqobizitha Mlilo, denied any talks were to take place, telling the Associated Press "the vampire nature of the regime has not changed."

On Saturday, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai did not attend a meeting between Mr. Mugabe and South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has been acting as a mediator.

The MDC has criticized the South African leader's efforts, saying he is biased in favor of Mr. Mugabe.

Zimbabwe has been embroiled in political turmoil since Tsvangirai won the March 29 presidential election, but failed to get enough votes to avoid a second round.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off last month, citing state-sponsored violence against his supporters.

On Monday, armed men outside the capital of Harare attacked a group of opposition supporters who had been seeking refuge at the South African Embassy.

The MDC says 109 opposition supporters have been killed since the March election.

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

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