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Leaders call for unity government in Zimbabwe

The African Union on Tuesday urged the creation of a government of national unity in Zimbabwe to heal the nation's deep political wounds after President Robert Mugabe's triumph in a one-candidate runoff widely condemned as a sham.

The union, a 53-nation body that is Africa's most authoritative group, made the call after a two-day gathering of African leaders in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, marked by divisions over the handling of the crisis in Zimbabwe.

While President Omar Bongo of Gabon endorsed Mugabe's presidency, Botswana urged the suspension of Zimbabwe from African forums.

The AU resolution urged the continuation of regional mediation efforts, which, to the frustration of the opposition in Zimbabwe, have been led by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. Mbeki has been widely criticized as having been too soft on Mugabe, an ally of nearly 30 years.


World Bank chief urges new food aid

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, is calling on President Bush and other leaders meeting in Japan next week in an economic summit to make new aid commitments to avert starvation and instability in dozens of countries.

"What we are witnessing is not a natural disaster — a silent tsunami or a perfect storm," Zoellick said in a letter sent Tuesday to the major leaders of the West. "It is a man-made catastrophe, and as such must be fixed by people."


MEXICO: Videos showing police practicing torture techniques on a fellow officer and dragging another through vomit at the instruction of a U.S. adviser created an uproar Tuesday in Mexico, which has tried to eliminate torture in law enforcement.

China: Two Republican congressmen called on President Bush to steer clear of the Beijing Olympics unless China makes substantial improvements in its treatment of dissidents, including releasing prisoners of conscience. Chris Smith of New Jersey and Frank Wolf of Virginia spoke Tuesday on a visit to Beijing during which security agents blocked a group of dissidents from dining with them. • Chinese officials and senior envoys of the Dalai Lama opened their latest round of negotiations over Tibet on Tuesday in Beijing, as international pressure for a breakthrough intensifies ahead of the Olympic Games.

Iran: Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday that Iran was considering a new offer from six world powers to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program, and he praised it as "constructive."

Times wires

Leaders call for unity government in Zimbabwe 07/01/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 2:06pm]
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