President Laurent Gbagbo has called for the French business community who fled Ivory Coast's recent unrest to return to the country.
Gbagbo says French interests in the country are significant
"French schools were burned in Abidjan, so I understand completely that parents are leaving," Mr Gbagbo told radio station France Info.
But he said French and Ivorian "mutual interests" were currently at stake".
Civil war in Ivory Coast reignited two weeks ago, when the Ivorian air force broke a truce by attacking the rebels.
A French group is suing Mr Gbagbo for the deaths of nine French peacekeepers
killed in strikes on 6 November.
Lawyer Eric Dupont-Moretti told AFP news agency that the suit, which was also brought against armed forces chief of staff Col Philippe Mangou, aimed to bring charges of "premeditated voluntary homicide" against the Ivorian leader.
Thousands of frightened foreigners have left Ivory Coast
Mr Gbagbo has said that the strike on the French base in Bouake in the rebel-held north of the country was an accident and has suggested that, as he has not seen the bodies, they may not exist.
But French armed forces chief of staff General Henri Bentegeat has
said he was "sure it was deliberate".
Head of the rebel forces Guillaume Soro has said he wants Mr Gbagbo tried for war crimes, according to Reuters news agency.
"Using warplanes to bomb your own population seems to us not
only like a violation of the ceasefire but also like a war crime," Mr Soro said after meeting with the UN on Thursday.
Calm is gradually being restored to the country.
But two weeks of turbulence have knocked the country backwards, not least economically.
29 Sept: Parliament fails to meet deadline for political reforms
15 Oct: Rebels ignore deadline for disarmament
28 Oct: Rebels withdraw from unity government
4 Nov: Government aircraft begin air strikes on rebel-held territory
6 Nov: Air strike kills nine French soldiers; France destroys Ivorian planes
7 Nov: Gbagbo supporters demonstrate against the French in Abidjan; UN condemns Ivorian attacks
8,9 Nov: Anti-French rioting
10 Nov: French begin evacuating civilians
15 Nov: UN sanctions imposed
Days of anti-white violence caused thousands of westerners, who hold a disproportionate chunk of the economy, to leave the country, putting jobs at risk.
"I own seven cars, and run three others. But at the moment we can go more than a week without hiring one," the owner of a car hire company used by foreigners told BBC correspondent in Ivory Coast James Copnall.
"I have a lot of employees, there are at least 12 drivers I employ. At the moment I can say they are unemployed," the owner said.
President Gbagbo in the France Info interview pointed out that "France has its interests" in Ivory Coast.
"What are [French businessmen] supposed to do today in France after having invested their whole lives in the Ivory Coast?" he asked.
He went on to welcome the arms embargo the UN placed on Ivory Coast this week.
"The embargo is convenient for us. If it means that our
adversaries no longer have any weapons, we will no longer need
weapons either," he said.
A meeting of Ivory Coast's unity cabinet was held on Thursday with all the main opposition parties represented.
United Nations peacekeepers provided security.
Only the New Forces rebel group failed to turn up.
They withdrew from the government at the end of October, after they said a cache of arms was found being smuggled by government supporters through rebel-held territory, in spite of a disarmament programme.
Prime Minister Seydou Diarra - who is a Muslim from the rebel-held north of the country - also attended the session.
In another development, the transfer of power at the top of the Ivory Coast army has been postponed indefinitely owing to the illness of existing General Mathias Doue, AFP reports.
Major Colonel Philippe Mangou, the hawkish former leader of the
military's northern command, was tipped by President
Gbagbo to replace General Doue, who has been considered a moderating
voice within the armed forces since he was installed in 2000.