Colin McClelland

Maputo - Strengthening a growing partnership within the Southern African Development Community, President Thabo Mbeki is to discuss development issues and the situations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola with Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano in Maputo on Thursday.

Chissano's aide said topics are to include joint investment projects, such as the billion-dollar Mozal aluminium smelter, the Maputo Development Corridor, development projects in the Lebombo border area and immigration matters. "They may indeed look at the DRC and Angola if it's possible," he added.

Other matters might include Mozambique's slow efforts to privatise the Maputo port and the R12-billion iron and steel plant proposed for the city. Mozambican Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi will also attend the talks.

The meeting, two weeks after the SADC summit in Maputo which saw Chissano take over from Mbeki as head of the organisation, can be seen as part of a growing partnership between the two presidents. - Independent Foreign Service