Madagascar's opposition leader Andry Rajoelina and President Marc
Ravalomanana have agreed to work toward reducing tensions in the nation.
a brief meeting Saturday, the two men committed themselves to ending
provocative statements to the media, halting demonstrations and ending
political arrests. They also pledged to put a stop to looting and
Saturday's meeting in the capital Antananarivo
- mediated by church leaders - was the first between the opposition
leader and the president since Madagascar's political crisis began last
month. Reports said they might meet again early next week.
has endured weeks of turmoil since Rajoelina began an effort to oust
Mr. Ravalomanana. Rajoelina accuses the president of being too
On Friday, Madagascar security forces regained
control of four government ministry offices that opposition supporters
had taken over Thursday.
Police officials say 50 people were arrested during Friday's operation
Rajoelina has declared himself the country's new leader and has vowed to take over the government.
President Ravalomanana says he remains in charge of the island nation's affairs.
than 100 people have been killed in demonstrations since the turmoil
began. That number includes 28 killed February 7, when presidential
guards fired on protesters who were marching toward the presidential
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.