Madagascar's new government was optimistic that it would rejoin the African Union (AU) after talks between President Marc Ravalomanana and southern African leaders in Pretoria, South Africa. Ravalomanana met with the AU troika on Tuesday to review the progress made by the government of Madagascar following the recent political crisis.

Madagascar dissolved its parliament last Wednesday ahead of parliamentary elections set for 15 December, almost exactly a year after a disputed presidential election which plunged the country into a violent power struggle.

Health officials in Madagascar said last Thursday a flu outbreak that had claimed the lives of hundreds of people, was now under control.

Doctors in Madagascar were on Monday still baffled by a mysterious flu-like illness that has killed more than 150 people in the past two weeks.

In a show of support for the country's new administration, international donors at the weekend pledged US $2.3 billion in aid to Madagascar over four years.