I.Coast president to skip French Africa summit

30th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Ivory Coast's president said Sunday he would not attend next week's Africa summit in France as the two countries have not discussed their dispute over a failed coup against his regime in 2002.

"There is no reason for me to go to France so far as we have not discussed (our) fundamental disagreement," Laurent Gbagbo told radio station RFI on the eve of the 25th Africa-France summit held in the Riviera city of Nice.

The disagreement was due to the "implication of the French state through (then president) Jacques Chirac and (then foreign minister) Dominique de Villepin in the attempted toppling of my government", he said.

Relations between France and its ex-colony have been strained since the 2002 attempted coup.

They nose-dived further in November 2004 when Ivorian government forces killed nine French troops stationed in the country during an attack on the central town of Bouake.

Gbagbo did however say he had no problem with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who succeeded Chirac in 2007.

"Every time we meet, we greet each other, we talk," he said.

© 2010 AFP

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