The president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, is holding face-to-face talks for the first time with the man he ousted in 2009.
Marc Ravalomanana has lived in South Africa since he was thrown out of office in an army-backed coup.
The men are meeting in the Seychelles, with their talks chaired by South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.
It is hoped the meeting will resolve years of political crisis in Madagascar.
Mr Ravalomanana and Mr Rajoelina signed a roadmap agreement in September 2012 intended to pave the way for elections within a year, but the deal has not yet been seen through.
The South African Development Community, which suspended Madagascar's membership following the coup, has given the two men until the end of this month to settle their differences, so a timetable for elections can be unveiled.