Angola's ruling MPLA party and the former rebel movement UNITA have agreed to form a coalition government, Portuguese state television reported Tuesday.
Radio Televisao Portuguesa said it had just received news of the agreement from the Angolan capital Luanda and details would follow shortly.It was not immediately clear whether the coalition would be formed immediately or after Angola's first free elections Sept. 29-30. Senior officials from the observer countries Portugal, United States and Russia are in Luanda at present.
They were due to meet President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is also leader of the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) and Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), on Tuesday. The reported agreement to form a government of national unity followed a 21/2-hour meeting between Dos Santos and Savimbi in Luanda Monday.
Savimbi, who was meeting Dos Santos for only the third time since the MPLA and UNITA signed a peace accord in May 1991, said afterward the meeting had produced "positive results."
But he dodged questions about UNITA's willingness to form a coalition with its bitter foe during 16 years of civil war after the Sept. 29-30 parliamentary and presidential elections.
A UNITA national convention in the southern port city of Lobito 10 days ago said in a final communique: "The convention favors the formation of a government of national unity, whoever wins the elections in September."
UNITA, backed by the United States and South Africa during the civil war, earlier this year rejected suggestions it might share power with the formerly Marxist MPLA.