Leaders of political parties in Malawi on Wednesday held a four-hour consultative meeting with the President on the border wrangle with Tanzania and the current state of security in the country.
The group also included Professor Brown Chimphamba and historian Desmond Dudwa Phiri.
President Joyce Banda told her guests at New State House in Malawiâ€™s capital Lilongwe that she had decided to consult them after meeting the media, diplomats and the faith community as they are â€œcriticalâ€ to the well-being of the country.
Leader of opposition John Tembo described the talks as â€œvery important and a new refreshing approachâ€ to issues affecting all Malawians, but declined to give his position on the two agenda items.
President Banda said at the start of the meeting that she wanted to brief and consult all political parties on the issue of Tanzania and provide an update on internal security and measures that have been undertaken to address the same
Said the President: â€œI leave for Mozambique tomorrow [Thursday] where I have requested meetings with my fellow Heads of State. I believe you are a critical group as political leaders whose input can feed into such meetings.â€
Banda said the Tanzania issue has been around for quite sometime. She said positions from the neighbour have been changing with the current claim being that half of the lake belongs to them.
The President said it is her desire to solve the matter diplomatically.
Tembo, speaking to reporters after the talks, simply said: â€œI am very happy we were invited. We were hardly consulted or invited here in the past. This is something new and refreshing. A very important step, but all the issues discussed remain in State House.â€