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Government, Opposition Negotiators in Kenya to Hold Internal Talks

Negotiators on both sides of the bloody political crisis in Kenya are taking advantage of a break in talks to consult with their bosses and supporters.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been mediating the talks, said Friday that the two sides will hold internal consultations and then resume negotiations on Monday.

The opposition on Friday repeated its threat to stage mass anti-government protests if no "tangible outcome" is achieved in the negotiation process by Wednesday.

The two sides agreed in principle Thursday to a power-sharing deal that would create the post of prime minister - a key opposition demand - but the two sides have not agreed on the responsibilities and functions of the position.

The negotiations are aimed at stopping the deadly unrest that has plagued Kenya since the disputed December 27 presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging the election to ensure victory.

A top African Union official pushed Friday for a quick resolution of Kenya's post-election crisis.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, held talks in the capital, Nairobi, with President Kibaki and leaders of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, which is headed by Mr. Odinga.

Ping later said he is confident talks between the two sides are moving in the right direction, and that the next few days will be crucial for finalizing a deal. He said he hopes an agreement will be completed next week.

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