Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara addresses participants of the "G20 Investment Summit - German Business and the CwA Countries 2019" on the sidelines of a Compact with Africa (CwA) in Berlin, Germany on Nov. 19, 2019. (John MacDougall/Pool via AP)

Ivory Coast’s President, Alassane Ouattara, and his main rival, Henri Konan Bédié, said they have decided to make peace in the country after weeks of violence over a disputed presidential election.

The two men said they would keep talking following a meeting in the commercial capital, Abidjan, on Wednesday which they described as an ice-breaker.

The government says 85 people have been killed in violence connected with the election in which Mr Ouattara won a controversial third term.

A number of opposition leaders have been arrested after denouncing the poll and setting up a rival administration.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara (C-R) meets with Henri Konan Bedie (C-L)

But there were no handshakes in front of the cameras.

Mr Bedie’s party, the PDCI, had previously insisted on several preconditions before the meeting – including removal of security blockades on the residences of opposition leaders and cessation of legal proceedings against them.

The opposition does not recognise the results of the 31 October presidential election.