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Page last updated at 14:31 GMT, Sunday, 3 August 2008 15:31 UK

Rivals resume Zimbabwe deal talks

South African President Thabo Mbeki (L) is welcomed by his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe (R) in Harare (30/07/2008)
Robert Mugabe (r) is under pressure from opponents to stand aside

Talks have resumed between Zimbabwe's ruling party and the main opposition on a possible power-sharing deal.

The discussions, between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), broke up for several days last week.

Officials said the delay was so that delegates could consult their leaders on possible next steps.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said he is "fairly satisfied" with the progress of the talks so far.

Deadline 'flexible'

A spokesman for South African President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating the discussions, confirmed that the power-sharing talks had resumed.

He has suggested that the initial two-week deadline for the talks - which expires on Monday - is flexible, in part because of the adjournment.

Morgan Tsvangirai (file)
Mr Tsvangirai has said he is satisfied with the progress of talks so far

Mr Tsvangirai's supporters say the MDC leader should succeed Mr Mugabe as president of Zimbabwe, because he won the popular vote in the first round of the country's recent presidential election.

Mr Mugabe won the second round run-off in a poll that was widely criticised as flawed and was boycotted by the MDC.

The talks began again the day after a bomb exploded at the main police station in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare.

A police spokesman said Saturday's blast caused some damage to the building but nobody was injured.

Correspondents say bomb attacks are rare in Zimbabwe but last year the government accused opposition activists of throwing petrol bombs at several police stations.



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