Brussels (ANTARA News/AFP) - The European Union will work with Ivory Coast`s government to remove all sanctions that were imposed to pressure strongman Laurent Gbagbo to step down, a senior EU diplomat said Tuesday.

One day after Gbagbo was detained, the top diplomat said the EU would consult with President Alassane Ouattara`s administration on the remaining economic sanctions slapped against Ivorian companies.

Following a request from Ouattara last week, the EU lifted sanctions on the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro as well as an oil company and the regulators of the country`s vital cocoa and coffee industries.

"We will review the remaining sanctions in consultation with Ouattara`s government and withdraw them as and when it is deemed appropriate," Nicholas Westcott, head of the EU diplomatic service`s Africa office, said on Tuesday.

"But we will take action on that as swiftly as called for," he told the EU Parliament`s foreign affairs committee.

Ivory Coast is the world`s top cocoa producer. Its coffee and cocoa industries represent 40 percent of export revenues and one-fifth of the country`s gross national product.

After Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in November elections, the 27-nation EU imposed travel bans and assets freezes on the incumbent leader and scores of his associates as well as sanctions on economic entities.

The other firms hit by sanctions included several banks as well as the national oil company Petroci, the APROCANCI rubber producers and SOGEPE electricity utility.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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