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SADC Summit to Discuss Zimbabwe Crisis

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) delegation that was in Zimbabwe to consult with members of the national unity government will recommend the convening of an extraordinary summit soon.

The visit to Harare by the SADC troika on Security, Defense and Politics was ostensibly to access the progress of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement or GPA, the deal that brought about Zimbabwe's national unity government.

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But observers say it was prompted by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's partial withdrawal from the government earlier this month citing President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party's failure to comply with the GPA. Mr. Tsvangirai is the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

After consulting with all three parties that make up the national unity government, delegation head Oldemiro Baloi, the Mozambican Foreign Minister, told the media.

"SADC will continue its efforts to support, to help Zimbabweans helping themselves by this troika finishing as soon as possible, I mean very urgently, the report we are supposed to prepare send it to the chairman of the troika and to do our best to convene a summit of the troika as soon as possible," he said.

However, Baloi would not say exactly when the summit would be held.

Baloi said while it was clear the national unity government had brought about positive change in Zimbabwe, it faced some hurdles.

"Those that are mentioned more frequently are the issue of the reserve bank governor, the attorney general, the governors and sanctions, media reform," he said. "There is a commission that should have been set up, the media, commission, it's taking long because if it was in place it was supposed to deal with whatever issues related to media complaints."

The MDC has a long list of complaints it alleges are non-fulfillment of the Global Political Agreement and wants resolved before it can participate fully in government. Mr. Tsvangirai, however, hinted at compromise when he spoke to the media after the troika visited him at his offices.

"We have to find a solution to the crisis and that's the whole objective," he said. "If we can get the inclusive government working again and if all the GPA issues are resolved or partially resolved depending on what the summit will deal with then we are able to push the country forward, that's the most important objective."

Mr. Mugabe is quoted by the state-controlled media as dismissing the perception that the convening of the summit was a victory for the MDC as propaganda and cheap politicking.

But speaking at the burial of a veteran of Zimbabwe's war of independence Saturday he said talks between the parties would continue.

Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA his party would not attend Tuesday's weekly cabinet meeting, the third such meeting it has boycotted, until the issues that brought about the disengagement are addressed.