Iranian diplomats in Ivory Coast safe

April 10, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry has announced that the Iranian diplomats and expatriates, who were stuck in the Iranian embassy in Ivory Coast’s major city of Abidjan as the clashes between the rival political Ivorian groups spread to this city, have been transferred to a safe place.

The clashes in Ivory Coast erupted after incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power to the internationally-recognized winner of the November presidential election, Alassane Ouattara.
The news of the escalation of clashes raised concerns about the Iranian nationals’ safety because the Iranian embassy in Abidjan was located in the center of clashes between supporters of the Ivorian president-elect Ouattara and his rival President Gbagbo.
The Foreign Ministry started its diplomatic efforts to ensure the safety of Iranian nationals in Abidjan, and following a telephone conversation between Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his French counterpart Alain Juppe on Thursday night in which Salehi called for France’s cooperation, Iranian nationals were transferred by French troops to safety.
French troops were deployed in Abidjan and the Ivory Coast’s capital Yamoussoukro after diplomatic efforts failed to force embattled ruler Laurent Gbagbo to recognize Ouattara’s victory.
Reportedly, diplomatic efforts are still underway to immediately bring the Iranian nationals back home.