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Ivory Coast Rival Leaders Begin Summit Monday


The five main political and factional leaders in Ivory Coast's civil war are set to meet later Monday.

Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny called for the two-day summit in the administrative capital, Yamoussourkro.

President Laurent Gbago, former president Henri Konan Bedie, northern opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, and New Forces rebel leader Guillaume Soro are all expected to attend.

This is the first time the leaders of the warring factions have agreed to meet on Ivorian soil since the start of the civil war in late 2002.

A U.N.-backed peace plan for Ivory Coast is designed to pave the way for elections by the end of October.

But New Forces spokesman Cisse Sindou says much needs to be accomplished at the two-day summit if the deadline is to be kept.