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11.08.2004 General News

Alleged remarks by President Gbagbo are untrue - Envoy

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Accra, Aug. 11, GNA - Mr Sery Bailly, Member of Parliament and Former Minister of Education in Cote d'Ivoire on Wednesday denied that Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo had held discussions with the Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Alban Kingsford Bagbin.

He said: "President Gbagbo has never heard the name before or met him for any discussions. I don't think we need such remarks with the commitment shown by President Kufuor to ensure that peace returned to Cote d'Ivoire."

Mr Bailly was speaking to Journalists after delivering a special message from President Gbagbo to President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Castle, Osu.

The message was to express the gratitude and appreciation of the Government and people of Cote d'Ivoire to the Government and people of Ghana for their patience and determination to ensure that peace returned to Cote d'Ivoire.

Mr Bailly said the remarks by the Minority Leader were for the internal politics in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire should not be dragged into it. He said President Gbagbo in an address to Ivorians on the eve of their independence celebrations on August 6 this year, described " President Kufuor as a friend and expressed gratitude and appreciation to his efforts to bring peace to Cote d'Ivoire".

"We are, therefore, surprised that President Gbagbo would make such statement to the Minority Leader", he said.

Mr Bailly said it was an African tradition to show gratitude and appreciation and it was more than confidence that Ivorians had in President Kufuor and his Government.

"We trust him and trust the capacity and commitment he demonstrated during the ACCRA III Summit. The way President Kufuor conducted the meeting made him a great Statesman to all the participants at the Summit."

Mr Bagbin was alleged to have informed the delegates at the launching of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Manifesto in Kumasi recently that some of the African Leaders in the Sub-Region had lost faith and confidence in President Kufuor on the way he handled the Ivorian crisis.

In an interview on the "Front Page" programme on JOY FM in Accra last Saturday, Mr Bagbin told the host that President Gbagbo and President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso held discussions with him and told him (Bagbin) that they had lost faith and confidence in President Kufuor.

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