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Mbeki brings hope of Zimbabwean deal

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Mbeki brings hope of Zimbabwean deal
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South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki is in Harare, bringing a glimmer of hope for Zimbabwe that the talks he is chairing could soon result in a power-sharing deal.

After being greeted at the airport by Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Mbeki went to a hotel to begin a day of meetings with the key political players.

First in was the main opposition figure, Morgan Tsvangirai. He beat Mugabe in the first round of a presidential poll in March, but pulled out of June’s run-off, alleging violence against his supporters.

It is thought the talks could result in Mugabe staying on as president but with less power, and Tsvangirai being nominated to a beefed-up prime ministerial role.

An end to the political crisis would be a first step in stemming the economic collapse of this once rich nation.