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Rival Madagascar Leaders Meet in Mozambique


Madagascar's interim President Andry Rajoelina and his ousted predecessor Marc Ravalomanana are meeting in Mozambique's capital for talks on ending their country's political crisis.

The talks, scheduled to last for four days, began in Maputo Wednesday. Two other former presidents of Madagascar, Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy, are also taking part.

Mediators are putting pressure on the four leaders to find a way to stabilize Madagascar. Previous mediation attempts have stalled over the content of a transition charter that would take the country to new elections.

Madagascar has been wracked by turmoil since January, when Mr. Rajoelina began a wave of street protests that led to the deposing of Mr. Ravalomanana, with the backing of the military.

Mr. Ravalomanana, now living in exile, wants to be restored as president. However, the current leadership says he will face corruption charges if he returns home.

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

Earlier this year, African Union-sponsored talks failed to resolve the crisis.

Mozambique's former president, Joaquim Chissano, is charing the current talks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP

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