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Ivorian leader denies move to surrender

Ivorian leader denies move to surrender

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Laurent Gbagbo, Cote d'Ivoire's incumbent president, said that the Ivorian army had called for a ceasefire but denied reports that he was ready to surrender.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday with France's LCI television, he reiterated that he considered himself the winner of last November's elections

Gbagbo said the discussion over who won last year's elections continued and he said face-to-face talks with president-elect Alassane Ouattara was the only way to return the country to peace.

"The army has called for the suspension of hostilities ... and it is currently discussing the conditions of a ceasefire with the other forces on the ground, but on a political level no decision has yet been taken," Gbagbo said.

An UN official, whom the Reuters news agency did not name, said that Gbagbo was not physically in UN custody but was "still negotiating" and had "expressed a willingness to surrender".

Gbagbo is in a bunker inside the presidential residence with his family, officials said.

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