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China calls for early consultation, dialogue within Zimbabwe
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A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday that encouraging dialogue and consultation among the different Zimbabwean political parties is a priority in resolving issues concerning Zimbabwe.

"Only by doing so, can the differences among those parties be resolved and that serves to the interests of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean people", spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular press conference.

Liu said China had been keeping a close eye on the development of the situation in Zimbabwe, calling on the parties to maintain restraint and stick to the dialogue and consultation.

"We think the issues concerning Zimbabwe should only be resolved by the Zimbabwean people and the international community could play a constructive role by promoting dialogue and reconciliation," Liu said.

"China supports the mediating efforts of the African Union and Southern African Development Community", Liu said.

The United Nations Security Council should fully respect and listen to the voices of the two organizations and support their efforts.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was sworn in for a new five-year term in office on Sunday, after being declared winner of Friday's presidential run-off poll. Opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the election, citing various reasons, including political violence.

(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2008)

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