China respects ECOWAS recognition of Ouattara as winner of Cote d'Ivoire presidential runoff: spokesperson

08:30, December 10, 2010      

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China Thursday said it respects the decision made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to recognize Alassane Quattara as president-elect of Cote d'Ivoire.

"China will continue to support efforts made by African regional organizations and African countries to ease tensions in Cote d'Ivoire", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

The ECOWAS announced that they recognized Alassane Quattara as the president-elect of Cote d' Ivoire. The West African economic bloc also ordered the immediate suspension of Cote d'Ivoire from all its activities.

The decisions were reached at the ECOWAS extra-ordinary summit presided over by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Tuesday.

"China has closely monitored Cote d'Ivoire's situation since the election," Jiang said, reaffirming that the country would adhere to the principle of non-interference and respect Cote d'Ivoire's national sovereignty

"China hopes the relevant parties in Cote d'Ivoire can give top priority to the national and public interests, remain calm and restrained, and resolve disputes through legal procedures and political dialogue to maintain its national stability and solidarity," Jiang said.

Cote d'Ivoire held two rounds of presidential elections with the first round on Oct. 31 and the second round between incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and the opposition leader, former prime minister Alassane Quattara on Nov. 28.

The Independent Electoral Commission on Dec. 2 released provisional results showing that Ouattara won the election in the second round.

The country's Constitutional Council, however, immediately declared that the results were invalid and declared Gbagbo as the winner.

Gbagbo has been sworn in as the new president of the country by the Constitutional Council, which has the final say on the results of the election, and Ouattara has also taken presidential oaths in response, triggering political chaos.

The international community, including the African Union, the European Union, ECOWAS, the United States and France, had all endorsed the election of Ouattara, urging Gbagbo to hand over power.



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