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Harare Says No Mugabe-Tsvangirai Talks Agreed

Zimbabwean Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya said Tuesday that there are no plans for African-brokered political talks between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Dr. Jokonya said he did not intend to dispute statements made by a spokesperson for Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The spokesperson told VOA Monday that Mr. Mugabe agreed in a conversation with Mr. Obasanjo at the recent African Union summit to hold talks with Mr. Tsvangirai. Mr. Jokonya said he believed the Nigerian leader had divulged a private discussion.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper said Mr. Mugabe had ebuffed pressure at the summit from Mr. Obasanjo and South African President Thabo Mbeki to meet with Mr. Tsvangirai. The Herald quoted Mugabe spokesman George Charamba as saying the only government-opposition contact would take place in parliament.

Reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele for VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe interviewed Zimbabwean Information Minister Tichaona Jokonya on Tuesday.

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