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SADC reiterates call on Madagascar political leaders to end crisis

CAPE TOWN, July 28 — The Southern African Development Community's (SADC) organ Troika has reiterated its call on the political leaders of Madagascar to resolve their differences through dialogue, the South African government said on Friday.

A recent meeting between the two leaders of Madagascar was a clear indication of their commitment toward finding a lasting solution to end the political crisis in the country, the Troika said in a statement distributed by the South African Government Communication and Information System.

The statement was issued after Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina and the man he toppled in 2009, Marc Ravalomanana, met for the first time earlier this week in Seychelles. South African President Jacob Zuma mediated the meeting.

"Discussions were cordial and the participants displayed good leadership. All the parties were satisfied with the progress that had been made in bringing H.E Andry Rajoelina and H.E Marc Ravalomanana together in search for a lasting political solution in Madagascar," said the statement.

No breakthrough was made in the meeting, but the two men are set to meet again in the coming weeks to try and break the deadlock.

Madagascar has been mired in political crisis since Rajoelina ousted Ravalomanana in March 2009 with the army's backing.

Although the two have agreed to restore peace under the auspices of the SADC Roadmap signed in September last year, power sharing remains a hot issue between the political rivals, and currently the transitional government is jointly led by supporters of both Rajoelina and Ravalomanana amid apparent difficulties of cohabitation.

In June, the SADC Summit held in Angola called on the Troika to facilitate an urgent meeting between Ravalomanana and Rajoelina to discuss the full implementation of the roadmap.

The Troika, comprising Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa, has instructed the parties to conclude reconciliation talks by July 31. (PNA/Xinhua) CTB/rsm

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