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Zimbabwe opposition leader confirms joining unity government

By Xinhua,

Harare : Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, Thursday confirmed he would join a unity government led by President Robert Mugabe, according to media reports.

“It’s a historic decision and I hope the party will be united in ensuring that we respond to the needs on the ground and people’s expectations,” Tsvangirai said here.

Eddie Cross, the chief policy coordinator of MDC, was also quoted by the New Ziana news agency as saying that MDC would endorse Tsvangirai’s decision and he would likely to join the government by next week.

Cross, a key member of the opposition, said the party’s national council would meet Friday where Tsvangirai would be given the green light to join the power-sharing government with Mugabe.

South Africa’s Star newspaper also quoted Tsvangirai Thursday as saying that resolving outstanding issues with Mugabe’s Zanu-F party over the formation of the unity government was a “work in progress”.

On Monday, the heads of state and government from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) met in South African city of Pretoria over Zimbabwe issue.

After 12 hours of talks, SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao, reading from a communique, said: The prime minister (Tsvangirai) and the deputy prime ministers shall be sworn in by Feb 11, 2009.”

However, confusion reigned Tuesday when MDC issued a statement rejecting the SADC communique and saying there had been no agreement on that matter.

Monday’s extraordinary SADC summit on Zimbabwe was the grouping’s third such summit on the country’s situation in under a year.