Ivorian President Ouattara meets predecessors Gbagbo, Bédié

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A meeting of the big three in Côte d'Ivoire.

On Thursday President Alassane Ouattara received his predecessors Henri Konan Bédié and Laurent Gbagbo for a summit aimed at advancing reconciliation after the crises of 2010-2011 and 2020, but also to prepare for the upcoming elections in the west African nation.

The idea of the meeting between the three men was one of the recommendations of the political dialogue between the government and the opposition-held earlier this year to calm the political climate in Côte d'Ivoire.

The country has experienced several political crises in recent years involving these three men, who have been at the forefront of the political scene for decades.

In 2010, the presidential duel between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara led to a post-election crisis that left some 3,000 people dead and led to Gbagbo's arrest in April 2011.

In 2020, electoral violence during the presidential elections left 85 people dead and 500 injured. The election, boycotted by Mr Bédié, saw the re-election of President Alassane Ouattara for a third controversial term, deemed unconstitutional by the opposition. 

The last meeting of the "big three," as some call them, was more than ten years ago. It was before the first round of the 2010 presidential elections.

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