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Zimbabwe Opposition: 'Worlds Apart' in Talks with Mugabe

No progress has been reported at a southern African leaders summit aimed at solving the political standoff between Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the opposition.

An opposition spokesman told the Reuters News Agency that the two sides are "worlds apart" after the first day of talks in Pretoria.

Zimbabwe Information Minister Bright Matonga said if the Pretoria talks fail, Mr. Mugabe is going to go ahead with a Cabinet and not wait for the opposition.

A U.S. State Department spokesman says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is very concerned by what the spokesman says is Mr. Mugabe's unwillingness to negotiate.

Mr. Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed last September to share power. But a dispute over who would control what Cabinet posts is holding up the deal.

Tsvangirai is also demanding that Mr. Mugabe free opposition activists being held in jail on what the opposition calls trumped-up charges.

The European Union Monday extended travel and financial sanctions to another 26 officials and 36 companies associated with Mr. Mugabe. EU foreign ministers condemned the Mugabe government for failing to address the most basic economic and social needs of its people.

Zimbabwe is suffering from a severe food shortage, skyrocketing inflation, a worthless currency, and a cholera epidemic that has so far killed nearly three-thousand people

Tsvangirai beat Mr. Mugabe in a March 2008 presidential election. But official results showed neither candidate won enough votes to avoid a runoff. Mr. Mugabe won the second round after Tsvangirai dropped out, citing killings and beatings of his supporters.

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