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South Africa Criticizes New Zimbabwe Sanctions


The South African government has voiced objections to new sanctions on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his allies while negotiations to resolve his country's political crisis continue.

South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad Sunday said the talks between Mr. Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change should continue without outside interference.

Last week, the United States joined the European Union in imposing stronger sanctions on Zimbabwe. U.S. President George Bush said the action is a direct result of "politically-motivated violence" by what he called the "illegitimate" regime of President Mugabe.

Talks between Zimbabwe's government and opposition began Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa. The talks are designed to work on goals and priorities for a new government, a new constitution, and a plan to implement the changes. South African President Thabo Mbeki is overseeing the negotiations.

ZANU-PF has said any political deal must recognize last month's re-election of President Robert Mugabe. The opposition and many Western governments say the election was a sham spoiled by ruling party violence.

Southern African governments are pressing the sides to form a national unity government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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