Zimbabwean president says committed to dialogue with opponents

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HARARE, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Thursday he is committed to a national dialogue with his political opponents to ensure the development of the country.

"My doors will remain open for dialogue and updates as we pursue programs that will bring about prosperity, development and better quality of life to our people," Mnangagwa said in a speech read on his behalf at a church-organized national dialogue prayer meeting.

Mnangagwa on Wednesday met with 20 presidential candidates from last year's elections to discuss a framework for post-election dialogue aimed at resolving challenges facing the nation.

He said the meeting Wednesday was in fulfillment of the pledge he made upon inauguration last August to engage political opponents in order to move the country forward.

He added that the dialogue provided an opportunity to discuss pertinent national issues to forge a common understanding on ways to develop the country.

Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who boycotted Wednesday's meeting at the State House, attended the church prayer meeting Thursday.

United Nations resident coordinator Bishow Parajuli commended the country's political leaders for embracing dialogue as a way of addressing the pressing socio-economic challenges.

Parajuli said dialogue provided prospects for peace and unity, adding that it was important to ensure that the process was free of external interference. Enditem

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