EU praises Mbeki as "outstanding statesman"

Other News Materials 21 September 2008 02:01 (UTC +04:00)

After South African President Thabo Mbeki on Saturday agreed to step down, the European Union praised the leader 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, reported dpa.