January 4, 2011 / 4:00 PM / 9 years ago

Ivory Coast's Gbagbo agrees to lift blockade of rival

ABUJA (Reuters) - Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo has agreed to further talks over a bitter election dispute and has promised to lift a blockade around the temporary headquarters of rival Alassane Ouattara, regional bloc ECOWAS said on Tuesday.

“Mr. Laurent Gbagbo agreed to negotiate a peaceful end to the crisis without any preconditions. He also pledged to immediately lift the blockade around Hotel Du Golf, the temporary headquarters of Mr. Alassane Ouattara,” ECOWAS said in a communique.

It said Ouattara, who has been widely recognised as the winner of the November 28 election, had “indicated his willingness to ensure a dignified exit” for Gbagbo, provided he accepted that he had lost the polls.

Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Louise Ireland

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