Zuma hails Zim trip as success

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has described his working visit to Zimbabwe to iron out outstanding issues in the power sharing government as a fruitful one.

Zuma, who returns from Zimbabwe following a two-day working visit, said he was encouraged by the spirit of co-operation between the signatories of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

"I have had fruitful discussions with all the signatories to the GPA, their negotiating teams, leading Zimbabwean personalities and other key stakeholders.

"I am very encouraged by the spirit of co-operation displayed by the leaders and all the parties," said Zuma on Thursday.

Zuma, who is the Southern African Development Community (SADC)'s mediator in Zimbabwe, held talks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as well as third signatory to the agreement Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

"The parties have agreed to a package of measures to be implemented concurrently as per the decision of the SADC Troika in Maputo," said Zuma.

At their last meeting in January the SADC Troika, among other things, discussed the power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe, in which the leaders praised Zuma's efforts to revive the flagging unity government. The Troika however urged the political parties to fully implement the outstanding issues in the GPA.

The president said he believes that the implementation of the package will take forward the discussions. Additionally the leaders in Zimbabwe have instructed their negotiating teams to attend to outstanding issues when they meet on 25, 26 and 29 March. They will report back to Zuma on 31 March.

"I will present a comprehensive progress report to the Chairperson of the SADC Troika, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique," said the President who also thanked the negotiation teams for their commitment to ensuring that the GPA is implemented.