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By Musa Ndlangamandla - SWAZI OBSERVER-09-Jun-2009

HIS Majesty King Mswati III last evening held private talks with South African President Jacob Zuma regarding issues of peace, security and stability in the region.

The meeting, which was also attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Lutfo Dlamini and Chief Officer in the King’s Office Bheki Dlamini, took place at the Presidential Residence in Cape Town where His Majesty currently is after leaving Zimbabwe yesterday.

Minister Dlamini confirmed that the King and President Zuma were concerned about the issue of Madagascar and other hot spots in the region and that the meeting was meant to find solutions to the challenges Swazi Observer hads gathered that among the main issues to be discussed by the two leaders will be the situation in Madagascar. It could not be ascertained what other specific issues the two leaders discussed.

The meeting was held under the auspices of SADC in view of the fact that His Majesty is chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation, whilst Zuma had assumed the Chairmanship of SADC. Swazi Observer also gathered that ousted Malagasy President Marc Ravalomanana was also present, as he had also attended the 13th COMESA Heads of State Summit in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, the 19 member states of COMESA Authority have said they do not recognise the government of Madagascar under the DJ turned politician Andry Rajoelina. They said they still recognised Ravalomanana as president of that country despite a coup that removed him a few months ago. In his speech, His Majesty said “I am sure that the people of Madagascar will welcome the fact that COMESA has fully endorsed the decision taken by SADC on this matter. This decision will encourage SADC to work even harder towards the resolution of the Madagascar crisis.”

His Majesty said it was encouraging to note that COMESA continued with efforts to promote peace, security and stability in the region. He noted though that there were still some challenges and hot spots in the region. “However, it will appear our efforts are often overtaken by events as many conflicts end up in chaos and coups that result in the suffering of many people. To that end the summit discussed prevailing situations in our region, particularly the issue of the Republic of Madagascar,” he said.

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