'Mbeki should continue efforts in Zimbabwe'

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore has called on Thabo Mbeki to remain a mediator in power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe despite his ousting from the South African presidency.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has already urged Mbeki, who was replaced as president of his country last Thursday, to remain as official mediator in the deal between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his opposition rivals.

"The peace negotiations in Zimbabwe can continue as normal according to what we have learned from the SADC (Southern African Development Community)," Compaore told state television late on Saturday.

"Now president Mbeki, who initiated it and held the talks with great expertise, should be able to continue to support this initiative outside the South African presidency," he said.

Mbeki's ousting came a week after he brokered the signing of an accord between Zimbabwe's veteran leader Mugabe, 84, and his opposition rivals Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

The three political rivals agreed to form an all-inclusive government, but discussions stalled last week over the distribution of key ministries. - AFP

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