The central committee of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has endorsed the report of reconciliation talks between the CCM leadership and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), the Tanzanian 'Guardian' newspaper reported on Monday. The 'Guardian' quoted the CCM publicity secretary, Jackson Msome, as saying the committee "was satisfied" that the talks would lead to a solution of the political crisis in the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago. The two parties reportedly reached agreement on three key issues: implementation of the 1999 Commonwealth-sponsored accord; the results of last October's controversial parliamentary elections in Zanzibar; and the settlement of disputes arising from violent clashes which occurred on the islands in January this year. Leaders from the two parties are expected to sign an agreement on Wednesday, thereby bringing an end a year-long political crisis on the islands. Talks between the two main parties were organised following bloody political clashes in January in Zanzibar, in which some 23 people were killed. CUF supporters on the islands had staged demonstrations - declared illegal by the government - against the outcome of the October 2000 elections, which, they claimed, were neither free nor fair.
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