Cocoa industry groups welcomed a call for peace by top grower Ivory Coast’s internationally recognised president, Alassane Ouattara, and said they hoped for a swift resumption of trade.

“We also welcome the EU decision to lift the EU sanctions on the ports of Abidjan, San Pedro, and the CGFCC (Coffee and Cocoa Trade Management Committee),” said a joint statement from the European Cocoa Association and the Federation of Cocoa Commerce.

“We are hopeful that the end of the political crisis will very soon enable us and our members to play a part in the resumption of cocoa trade and the recovery of the Ivorian economy.”

It added, “A prompt resumption of cocoa activities will bring a much needed focus in the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people engaged in the Ivorian cocoa trade.”

Ouattara called for peace after his rival Laurent Gbagbo was arrested with the help of French forces, but he faces a huge task reuniting a country shattered by civil war.

Ouattara, who won a November presidential election according to U.N.-certified results, can begin asserting his authority over the West African country after Gbagbo was captured on Monday, ending more than four months of A stand-off that descended into all-out conflict. (Reuters)