Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 13:41 UK

Malagasy leaders in crisis talks

Andry Rajoelina (left) and Marc Ravalomanana (right)
Both men claim to be Madagascar's president

Madagascar's army-backed leader is in Mozambique for emergency talks with three of his predecessors.

The Indian Ocean island has been in a state of crisis since Andry Rajoelina forced the elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, to flee in March.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher in southern Africa says the summit is an acknowledgement by Mr Rajoelina that he needs help.

The African Union called the takeover a coup and foreign aid has been frozen.

The number of tourists to the country has also dropped sharply.

'Breaking the ice'

Both Mr Rajoelina and Mr Ravalomanana, who is living in exile in South Africa, claim to be the legitimate president of Madagascar.

It will be the first time the two men have met since March and they will be joined by two former presidents - Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy.

One mediator described the meeting - brokered by the regional body the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) - as "breaking the ice".

Our correspondent says when substantive discussions begin they are likely to focus on the timetable for fresh elections and crucially who will be allowed to stand.

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