Gbagbo hints at possible talks in Ivorian poll row


ABIDJAN: Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has dismissed talk of a possible resumption of war, and said rival factions should negotiate a solution to a crisis provoked by a row over who won elections on Nov. 28.
The comments, published in state-run Fraternite Matin newspaper on Friday, are the first signs from Gbagbo that he is ready for talks to end a deadlock after a top legal body named him as president, reversing election commission results that said rival Alassane Ouattara had clearly won the vote.
Both men say they are serving as president, having named prime ministers and their respective governments.
“We hear people say there will be war, that there will be an explosion. There will not be a war here. Things will end up with us sitting down (together),” Gbagbo was quoted as saying in Friday’s Fraternite Matin. “Let’s sit down and talk. If there is a problem, we will sit down and talk.”
Ouattara has been recognised by world leaders, who have threatened sanctions against Gbagbo and his family, as well as the African Union and regional body ECOWAS, which have since suspended Ivory Coast until Ouattara takes up his post.