French and Nigerian leaders discuss Ivory Coast

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 26 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo, the current head of the African Union, held talks here Thursday centring on mediation efforts in the troubled Ivory Coast.

OUAGADOUGOU, Nov 26 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac and his Nigerian counterpart Olusegun Obasanjo, the current head of the African Union, held talks here Thursday centring on mediation efforts in the troubled Ivory Coast.

On the eve of a meeting here of leaders of francophone nations, Chirac "voiced his full support" for Obasanjo's efforts to bring the protagonists together in the violence-wracked west African nation and to support a new UN resolution championed by France, Chirac's office said.

In mid-November, Obasanjo hosted a meeting of African leaders on how to resolve the Ivorian crisis.

Last week the UN Security Council voted unanimously for a 13-month arms sales ban against the Ivory Coast in the wake of an Ivorian government air strike on a French military base there that left nine French troops and a US civilian dead.

Ivory Coast has been convulsed by more than two years of turmoil since a September 2002 coup erupted into civil war, dividing the world's top cocoa producer between the rebel north and leaving the south in the hands of the government of President Laurent Gbagbo.

Chirac and Obasanjo also discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), development financing, preparations for the next G8 meeting and UN reform.

Nigeria, an English-speaking nation which is the most populous in Africa, is not part of the 51-nation francophony organisation.

Leaders began arriving on Thursday on the eve of the 10th summit of French-speaking countries, which is likely to focus on the resurgent crisis in Ivory Coast, once Francophone west Africa's brightest light.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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