EU to recognise only pro-Ouattara I.Coast envoys: France

29th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Union will only accept ambassadors from Ivory Coast named by Alassane Ouattara and not by a rival who refuses to hand over the presidency to him, French officials said Wednesday.

The EU "last week adopted a concerted approach: only ambassadors named by President Ouattara will be recognised by the European Union and the member states," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

The EU has not made any formal statement about ambassadors from Ivory Coast, which has seen deadly clashes between supporters of strongman Laurent Gbagbo and his internationally-recognised rival Ouattara.

But the bloc's foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton last week said "the EU recalls that the result of the presidential election, in favour of President Alassane Ouattara, can neither be submitted to any form of evaluation, nor be questioned."

Ivory Coast's key Paris embassy closed down on Tuesday, a day after it was briefly taken over by supporters of Ouattara.

France, Ivory Coast's former colonial ruler and a key player in its foreign relations, has said it will recognise Ouattara's envoy over that of Gbagbo whom it rejects as president.

Gbagbo has clung on to power since a disputed November 28 presidential vote, defying broad international pressure to quit.

© 2010 AFP

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