Lake Malawi mediation talks prolonged
Meditation talks between Malawi and Tanzania over ownership of Lake Malawi will not be settled soon as Tanzania officials called off a meeting with their Malawian counterparts last week.
The meeting was scheduled to take place on May 8 and 9 in South Africa.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila, confirmed the development, saying the postponement is worrisome.
“The Tanzanian delegation had confirmed participation but later sent a letter to the high level delegation team of the mediation talks that they will not make it to South Africa for the talks, last minute. We confirmed our availability after consultation with our counter parts and so it came as a surprise to learn that the talks have been postponed,” he said.
Kasaila could not be drawn to give details as to when the meetings will take place after this incident.
“We are waiting to hear from the high-level delegation team to communicate to us the reasons given by Tanzania on the issue of cancellation of the meeting and also on the way forward regarding the matter,” he said.
He further expressed concern over the duration and pace of the talks, arguing by now both countries should have known the truth of the matter.
“We want to resolve the issue as soon as possible the issue has been there for a long time and Malawians need to know what is going on regarding this issue. There are so many developmental issues we should be talking about as a country, we cannot be talking lake boundaries all these years,” Kasaila said.
Lately, President Peter Mutharika has spoken strongly about the ownership of the lake. Last week during the opening of the 14th Ordinary Session of Pan-African Parliament in South Africa, Mutharika challenged fellow African heads of states to respect national borders which colonialists left.
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