EU praises Mbeki as ‘outstanding statesman’

September 21st, 2008 - 6:30 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Sep 21 (DPA) The European Union (EU) has praised the South African President Thabo Mbeki, who has agreed Saturday to step down, as “an outstanding statesman”.EU chief diplomat Javier Solana in a statement noted Mbeki’s work with other African nations, including Congo, Burundi and Zimbabwe, where he brokered a power-sharing deal just days ago.

“Once again South Africa’s democracy has proved its high degree of maturity,” Solana said.

South Africa was thrown into turmoil Saturday after Mbeki caved into pressure from the governing African National Congress (ANC) to resign his office.

The ANC had said earlier it was recalling Mbeki as president in a bid to heal divisions in the party following a court finding of political interference in the corruption case of Mbeki’s rival, ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

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