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Ivory Coast President to Boycott Peace Meeting


Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo has announced he will boycott a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which is to review the progress of his country's peace plan. The meeting is scheduled to take place in New York on the periphery of the ongoing U.N. General Assembly.

President Laurent Gbagbo says the peace process aimed at reuniting Ivory Coast after four years of division is not working.

Mr. Gbagbo says nothing has happened in the ongoing peace process, and that means the process has failed.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had called for all parties to meet with him in New York on September 20, to assess the progress of the peace process.

Speaking at the presidential palace on Thursday, Mr. Gbagbo said he would not even send a representative.

Mr. Gbagbo says he has been annoyed by many of the diplomats who meet in Abidjan every month to review the peace process. He said the way they treated the affairs of Ivory Coast was flippant and rude.

The U.N.'s top representative, Pierre Schori, has said elections in Ivory Coast are not possible as planned by the end of October. Foreign mediators say they do not want a repeat of last year, where President Gbagbo's mandate was extended by a year.

The peace process has been deadlocked since rebels who control the north said they would not disarm, after Mr. Gbagbo had said he would stay in office beyond October even if elections did not take place.

Now, Mr. Gbagbo says he is writing a new set of proposals, which he plans to present to the African Union's Peace and Security Council.