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S. African President Jacob Zuma Launches Latest Mediation Effort in Zimbabwe


The atmosphere at Harare International Airport was not particularly encouraging - activists of Zimbabwean President Mugabe’s former ruling ZANU-PF party greeted Mr. Zuma with party songs denigrating Prime Minister Tsvangirai

South African President Jacob Zuma flew into Harare on Tuesday to launch a mission that some say looks impossible – reconciling the feuding parties in Zimbabwe's inclusive government.

The atmosphere at Harare International Airport was not particularly encouraging when Mr. Zuma arrived - some activists of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s former ruling ZANU-PF party greeted President Zuma with party songs denigrating Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was also there to welcome him.

VOA Studio 7 correspondent Thomas Chiripasi reported from the Harare International Airport that Mr. Zuma waved to the crowd while President Mugabe raised a clenched fist to his supporters.

Mr. Zuma's talks facilitation team, on the ground in the capital since Monday, asked representatives of the three unity government parties to prepare briefings on the state of intra-governmental discussions for President Zuma, President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Mr. Tsvangirai's spokesman, James Maridadi, said working meetings will begin Wednesday, after a state dinner in Mr. Zuma's honor Tuesday evening.

Zuma foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the talks are on course but added that the focus is not on achieving a dramatic breakthrough. International relations expert Innocent Sithole said Mr. Zuma has his work cut out for him in clearing the political logjam in Harare.

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