Cote d’Ivoire’s crisis should be solved peacefully: Chinese envoy

10:28, January 29, 2011      

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The on-going political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire should be and can be solved peacefully, Chinese Envoy and Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told Xinhua here on Friday, ahead of the 16th African Union (AU) summit scheduled for Jan. 30-31.

Liu was in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the 53-member African bloc, to attend the summit as special envoy of the Chinese government.

Cote d'Ivoire has been trapped in a political impasse since the landmark presidential run-off held on Nov. 28. Both incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara claimed victory and swore themselves in as president, and formed their respective government.

Gbagbo was backed by the country's Constitutional Council, while Ouattara has the support of the electoral commission and the international community including the United Nations (UN), the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United States and France.

China hopes various parties and stakeholders in Cote d’Ivoire can resolve their disputes through dialogues and consultations based on the interest of the country and its people, and maintain peace and stability, Liu said.

A peaceful solution to the crisis is not only in the interests of the Ivorian people, but of the West African region as a whole, according to Liu.

China appreciates the efforts made by the AU and ECOWAS to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, and will continue supporting Africa’s efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully, Liu said.

According to the UN, more than 200 people have died from violence during the power struggle between Gbagbo and Ouattara.

The 16th AU summit, to be held under the theme “Towards Great Unity and Integration Through Shared Values,” will gather heads of states and government from member states to discuss issues including Africa’s integration, and peace and security in the continent. The situation in Cote d’Ivoire, among others, is expected to top the agenda of the summit.

Source: Xinhua
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