LAGOS, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced on Tuesday that it would hold an emergency summit on the situation in Cote d'Ivoire on Friday.
The regional body said in a statement reaching Xinhua that the Heads of State and Government will be discussing the developments in Cote d'Ivoire.
The ECOWAS Commission said it has learnt with surprise and disappointment, the ultimatum issued by the outgoing President of Cote d'Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, to UNOCI, the UN Peacekeeping Mission, and the French Forces, Licorne, to leave the country immediately.
"ECOWAS wishes to state that the ultimatum, far from helping the situation, would further heighten tensions and worsen the plight of the vulnerable in the country," the body said.
"The Commission calls on the outgoing President to desist from his stand-off with the peacekeeping forces but rather to join in the effort in seeking ways of creating an environment of peace and security in the country," it added.
"It will like to recall the Decision of Dec. 7, 2010 by the ECOWAS Authority recognizing Alassane Ouattara as the legitimate winner of the presidential run-off election of Nov. 28, 2010 and urges Laurent Gbagbo to yield power with dignity without further delay," the commission said.
The Commission urges Gbagbo to reconsider his confrontational stance towards the international community and act in the supreme interests of the country and the region by ensuring a smooth transfer of power, it added.
The Commission had on Dec.7 suspended Cote d'Ivoire from the regional bloc over the country's electoral dispute on Tuesday and recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner of Cote d'Ivoire's presidential run-off.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is also chairman of the 15-member regional bloc, made the decision after having an emergency meeting in Abuja with leaders from Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal and Togo.
Jonathan ruled out the possibility of a unity government involving both Gbagbo and Ouattara as a way to settle the impasse.
In the presidential run-off on Nov. 28, incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister and opposition leader Alassane Ouattara competed for the top office of the country.
Ouattara was declared winner of the election by the electoral commission while the Constitutional Council, which has the final say on the results of the poll, said Gbagbo won the vote.
Gbagbo was sworn in as the new president of the west African country by the Constitutional Council, and Ouattara also swore himself in as the president.