India worried about events unfolding in Ivory Coast

India worried about events unfolding in Ivory Coast

"We are extremely worried about the unfolding situation (in Cote d'Ivoire)," India's envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri told PTI here.

He said the UN Security Council is reviewing the situation in the West African country and "it is clear that the situation is deteriorating by the hour."

During the last few days there have been large scale civilian killings in the wake of the military standoff between the forces of President elect Alassane Ouattara and Laurent
Gbagbo, who has refused to quit the post even after losing the November 2010 elections, Puri said.

"I hope that people who have a margin of persuasion with Ouattara and Gbagbo can appeal to them in order to get a lull and see if some kind of solution can be found," Puri, who was in the city to speak at a seminar organised by the South Asia Initiative at Harvard University, said.

Expressing relief that Indian Ambassador to Ivory Coast Shamma Jain was evacuated from her residence safely by UN and French forces, Puri said there are still several hundred members of the Indian community, including embassy staff, in the troubled country.

"Apart from issues of their safety, we are also worried about the kind of impact this military standoff is having on Ivorian society. There are faultlines, ethnic and regional, and so the international community is on the edge," Puri said.

A Security Council resolution passed gives the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) mandate to protect civilians, he added.

On the situation in Libya, Puri said India "deplores" the violence and is "worried" about the civil war situation that has developed there.

India feels there should be a ceasefire and "there should be a political solution found (in Libya).

We should now turn around and look for ways and means of resolving the issue politically," Puri added.