Cote d'Ivoire's President Ouattara to Meet Ex-Rival Gbagbo

Cote d'Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara will host his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo on July 27, 2021, authorities have announced. It will be the first meeting between the two since Gbagbo returned home in June 2021 after his acquittal at the International Criminal Court.

Communication Minister and government spokesperson, Amadou Coulibaly, told a press conference in Abidjan on July 21, 2021 that the president had a telephone conversation with his predecessor at the beginning of July to plan for the meeting. The July 27, 2021 meeting will be the first between both men since the 2010 presidential poll that was followed by post-election violence over disputed results.

The 76-year-old Gbagbo returned to the country following his acquittal by the tribunal. His return on June 17, 2021 signalled a move towards reconciliation and healing of the divided country's long political crisis.Ouattara welcomed Gbagbo's return saying that he had accepted the homecoming plan 'in the spirit of reconciliation'. The president used the Muslim feast of sacrifice, Idd ul-Adha, on July 21, 2021 to appeal for national healing.

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