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SADC meeting had Zimbabwe on agenda

Zimbabwe had been on the agenda of a South African Development Community (SADC) ministerial meeting that concluded in Maseru on Wednesday, said a senior Lesotho official. Motlatsi Ramofole, Lesotho's permanent secretary of foreign affairs, said the meeting was called to discuss a common African defence and security council, and the development of a code of conduct on terrorism for the continent. "But, since this was the first SADC meeting after the Commonwealth Summit [in Abuja], the members decided to review the political situation in the region." Zimbabwe was discussed behind closed doors, he said. Last month SADC countries distanced themselves from the Commonwealth decision to extend Zimbabwe's suspension from the organisation. Ramfole said the Lesotho Minister of Foreign Afairs, Mohlabi Tsekoa, would hold a press briefing next week in Maseru on the issues raised at the meeting. The SADC gathering was attended by ministers from the departments of foreign affairs, defence and security, home affairs and public safety.

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