International representatives met Thursday in Gabon for talks aimed at resolving the crisis between a rebel coalition and the CAR government. Rebels in the African republic halted their recent advance on the capital Bangui to take part in later peace talks.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said both sides are called on to avoid violence in settling differences.
"We welcome regional efforts to seek a political solution and to reinforce security," he said in a statement.
Delegates from the Economic Community of Central African States are spearheading the negotiations.
Josue Binoua, a decentralization minister for CAR, told CNN that talks between CAR President Francois Bozize, rebel leaders and ECCAS delegates could take place in Gabon next week. Bozize has called on France, the former colonial power, and the United States to ensure "rebels return home," CNN reported.
The United States evacuated its diplomatic staff from the CAR capital in late December. Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, called both parties to the conflict to end their hostilities.
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