President Ouattara Meets Gbagbo, July 27

President of Cote D’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara will meet his predecessor and former rival Laurent Gbagbo on July 27 for their first talks since Gbagbo’s return home after nearly 10-years in exile.

Presidential spokesperson, Amadou Coulibaly confirmed this on Wednesday.

The long-awaited talks are widely seen in Cote D’Ivoire as a key to easing the country’s simmering political tensions.

The meeting will take place in the presidential palace, spokesman Amadou Coulibaly said, adding that the pair have been “in touch” by phone since early July.

Ouattara and Gbagbo, two of the main figures of Ivorian politics in the last thirty years, had faced off in the 2010 presidential election.

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As both Ouattara and Gbagbo claimed victory in the vote, the country was plunged into a deep violent political crisis. The United Nations estimate over 3 000 people died as Ivorian security forces and pro-Ouattara militants fought for power.

After a month back in the country, Gbagbo already met with key players of the opposition, such as the former president and political rival Henri Konan Bédié.

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