JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will meet on Sunday with the two sides drawing nearer to a power-sharing agreement, a newspaper reported Friday.
The Harare meeting will take place with South African President Thabo Mbeki, the mediator for the talks, expected to fly to Zimbabwe this weekend, Business Day reported.
Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported that the meeting "would decide whether ZANU-PF and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change would come up with a final power-sharing deal this weekend."
Mugabe's spokesman on Thursday called reports of a deal in power-sharing talks "nonsense", but both he and South Africa said negotiations over the country's crisis were advancing.
"All this talk about an agreement that has supposed to have been reached, which is being reported, is utter nonsense," George Charamba told AFP, saying Mugabe had asked him to relay the message.
Power-sharing talks following Mugabe's controversial re-election began in South Africa after Zimbabwe's political rivals signed an accord on July 21 laying the groundwork for negotiations.
An opposition spokesman told AFP on Thursday that Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a smaller faction of the MDC, would hold a meeting in Harare soon.
Mutambara spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa said negotiators were expected to return home from South Africa on Friday and the meeting would take place afterward.
Zimbabwe's political crisis intensified after Mugabe's victory in a June 27 presidential run-off election widely condemned as a farce.
Tsvangirai boycotted the run-off after finishing ahead of Mugabe in the March first round, citing violence against his supporters that had killed dozens and injured thousands.
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