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    CNNThe three leaders representing a West African bloc will return to Ivory Coast next Monday to again try to defuse an escalating political crisis sparked by self-declared President Lauren Gbagbo's refusal to cede power.

    Tension in Ivory Coast increased Wednesday with a call by a key backer of Gbagbo for supporters to "liberate" the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, the capital, where President-elect Alassane Ouattara has his headquarters.

    Youth and Employment Minister Charles Ble Goude said on state television RTI that Gbagbo's supporters should "liberate this place with your bare hands" after January 1st.

    Ouattara is residing at the U.N.-protected hotel and using it as his headquarters.

    In the television broadcast, Ble Goude said Ouattara supporters were taunting Gbagbo's government by calling for international intervention in the political standoff.

    The international community -- including the United States, the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union -- recognize Ouattara as the president-elect of Ivory Coast, based on the results of the November runoff election certified by the country's Independent Electoral Commission and international observers.

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    Brazil is deeply concerned by the current situation. It believes that an expansion of the UN peacekeeping force in the Côte d'Ivoire is required in order to maintain relative stability in the country.
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    Brazil is keen to introduce a resolution to this effect.
 
 
 
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