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In Bouake, Ivory Coast, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin met with political leaders of the Patriotic Movement of the Ivory Coast, who agreed to participate in negotiations to be held in Paris, France, the week of January 15, 2003. However, two independent rebel groups in the west of the country, assisted by fighters from Liberia, have seized villages and the cocoa crops inside those villages, forcing residents to flee to the port of San Pedro with no possessions. One-fifth of the world's cocoa crop passes through San Pedro. A French unit is guarding the port.