Zuma helps end standoff in Zimbabwe's government

President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe have resolved their standoff and are speaking to one another again, South African President Jacob Zuma said Friday.

"They've agreed that there was a breakdown of communication amongst them, and we have resolved that, and so they have agreed to continue meeting," said Zuma.

The statement followed more than four hours of private discussions by the three leaders aimed at easing the political tension within Zimbabwe's coalition government. A

Afterward, the atmosphere at the news conference was relaxed, with Zuma, Mugabe and Tsvangirai smiling and shaking hands.

Zuma, who arrived in Zimbabwe on Friday afternoon, met separately with Mugabe and Tsvangirai, then the three leaders met together.

Zuma was to return to South Africa on Friday night.

Zimbabwe's coalition government was formed with a political power-sharing agreement after disputed, violent elections in 2008.

But the coalition remains deeply divided, undermining its job of ushering in a new constitution and preparing for general elections in Zimbabwe.