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Updated: December 31, 2010 15:48 IST

UK would back troop deployment to Ivory Coast

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British Foreign Minister William Hague. File photo: AP.
British Foreign Minister William Hague. File photo: AP.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague says the U.K. would support a United Nations-sanctioned military intervention by Ivory Coast’s neighbours if negotiations fail to persuade president Laurent Gbagbo to hand over power.

Mr. Gbagbo’s security forces are accused of abducting and torturing political opponents since the disputed Nov. 28 vote, which the U.N. said Mr. Gbagbo lost.

Mr. Hague told BBC radio on Friday that Britain hopes Mr. Gbagbo can be persuaded to step down, or will go voluntarily following the freezing of his bank accounts.

But the minister says the U.K. “would be supportive,” if neighbouring west African states decide to send in troops to intervene.

Mr. Gbagbo “should not underestimate the determination of the international community,” Mr. Hague says.

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