The US President, Mr Barack Obama, had a telephonic conversation with his Gabonese counterpart, Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba, to discuss the situation in Ivory Coast, facing unabated violence for weeks, the White House said.

“The two Presidents shared their concerns about the ongoing violence, and discussed the need to end this crisis as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.

Mr Obama reiterated his belief that the former President Mr Gbagbo needs to respect the will of the Ivorian people and end his claim to the presidency.

He thanked Mr Ondimba for his leadership and for the important role that Gabon plays as a member of the United Nations Security Council, the statement said.

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