Obama offers support to new Ivorian president

09:22, April 13, 2011      

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called new President of Cote d'Ivoire Alassane Ouattara and offered support for his efforts to rebuild the country reeling from a four-month-long power struggle.

Congratulating Ouattara on his assuming duties as the democratically elected president of Cote d'Ivoire, Obama offered support for the new president's efforts to "unite Cote d'Ivoire, restart the economy, restore security and reform the security forces," the White House said in a statement.

"President Obama welcomed President Ouattara's commitment to provide security and advance the aspirations of all Ivorians, and said that the United States will be a strong partner as President Ouattara forms an inclusive government, promotes reunification and reconciliation, and responds to the current humanitarian situation, " the statement said.

It said the two presidents reiterated the importance of ensuring that alleged atrocities are investigated and that the perpetrators -- regardless of which side they supported -- are held accountable for their actions. They also committed to support the roles of the Commission of Inquiry under the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court in investigating abuses in Cote d'Ivoire.

The political standoff in the world's top cocoa grower, arising from the disputed results of the Nov. 28 presidential runoff, ended on Monday when incumbent Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to concede defeat and hand over power to the widely recognized winner Ouattara, was detained by forces loyal to Ouattara backed by the French forces.

"Forging peace and ensuring stability would be an uphill task as deep national, ethnic, religious and political fissures -- exacerbated by nearly five months of violence -- threaten to tear the country apart," wrote experts from the United States Institute of Peace, a think tank in Washington.

Source: Xinhua
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