South Africa and the European Union have held historic talks, with Brussels solidly backing President Thabo Mbeki’s diplomatic efforts over Zimbabwe.
In the first ever summit between Europe and South Africa, French President Nicolas Sarkozy greeted the South African leader along with other EU chiefs.
Differences between the two on how to deal with Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe had threatened to overshadow the summit.
But, the Sarkozy was full of praise for the South African leaders mediation:
“The mediation of Mr Mbeki has to be supported because there isn’t any other possible voice at the moment. It is necessary to give a little time but not too much.”
The United States joined the EU in widening against Mugabe’s regime, despite Mbeki brokering a deal for power sharing talks with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.