Nigeria says AU position vindicates ECOWAS' stand on Cote d'Ivoire

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria has said the decision of the AU High Level Panel on Cote d'Ivoire to recognise Alassane Ouattara as the duly elected President of Cote d'Ivoire is a vindication of the stand by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
on the controversial election.

At a meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in  Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Friday night, the AU panel tabled its peace proposals that Ouattara  should be immediately sworn in as President to enable him form an inclusive government.

But the camp of incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo rejected the proposals.

''That meeting was very successful and had good outcome. It was extremely successful as they affirmed the position earlier taken by our President as the Chairman of ECOWAS that Alassane Quattara is the winner of the Cote d’Ivoire election,'' said Nigeria's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Salamatu Suleiman, when she led Ouattara to a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja Friday night.

''At the AU level now, they have endorsed that position after the high level panel that was earlier instituted had gone round and confirmed that there is absolutely no doubt that Quattara is the winner of the election in Cote d’Ivoire. Measures are being put in place to ensure he takes over his position as President,'' the Minister said.

Ouattara, who travelled to Nigeria from Ethiopia Friday, described his meeting with President Jonathan as very successful.

''I come to report to his Excellency the President about the meeting in Addis Ababa. The meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council. We had a very good meeting on Cote d'Ivoire; and the AU, after all the evaluations, confirmed that I am the elected President of Cote d'Ivoire.

''So I came to see my brother, President Jonathan, to thank him for his support and I think that the relations between Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire will be strengthened with my mandate because Nigeria is a special place and I told His Excellency that Nigeria is my country also,'' he said.

Nigeria holds the rotational chairmanship of ECOWAS, which is due to hold an ordinary summit in Abuja 23-24 March, with the Ivorian issue top on the agenda.
-0- PANA SEG 12March2011

12 march 2011 14:59:36

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