WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama called Ivory Coast presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara on Tuesday to congratulate him on assuming his duties and offer support for efforts to unite the country and restore security, the White House said.
Ouattara was able to step up to the presidency on Tuesday, a day after his forces captured Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to surrender the position despite a UN-certified election won by Ouattara in November.
Obama, who had supported Ouattara and called on Gbagbo to step aside after the election, spoke with Ouattara about the importance of re-establishing normal trade and assistance relationships to jumpstart the private sector in Ivory Coast, which is the world's leading cocoa producer.
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