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|Monday, August 07, 2000, updated at 13:52(GMT+8)|
Summit of Southern African Development Community OpensThe heads of state summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has opened in Windhoek, Namibia.
The chairman of this 14-nation group,President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique,praised the organisation's progress towards economic integration.
However, he said that a stable political environment in the region had been marred by the conflicts in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo is not attending the summit,in a blatant snub to the assembled heads of state who made the conflict in the DRC one of the major items on the agenda.
Most of the speeches at the opening session concentrated on SADC's progress towards economic integration.
The organisation is due to launch a free trade zone on 1 September.
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