Zambian President Frederick Chiluba said in Harare yesterday (Sunday) after meeting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe that the meeting would take place after a gathering of regional foreign and defence minsters. Chiluba would not comment on the status of rebel participation at the talks. “Originally we were toying with the idea of engaging them [rebels] in proximity talks and we have succeeded hitherto. Whether or not this will continue will depend on circumstances that have unfolded,” AFP quoted Chiluba as saying. “But we want the meeting to succeed by engaging every party to the conflict in the talks,” he added.
Chiluba postponed a planned trip to South Africa yesterday to enable him to conclude a round of consultations with other regional leaders, news reports said. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahima Fall is due to attend the Lusaka meeting, a UN statement received by IRIN said.
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