Gbagbo has refused to concede to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, whose victory in the November presidential election has been recognized by the international community.
"This second round of talks is supposed to be the last chance for Gbagbo, but nothing is certain," Rinaldo Depagne, a senior analyst for the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, told AOL News today.
The United Nations fears Ivory Coast is on the brink of another civil war, and Ouattara's U.N. envoy has warned of possible genocide in the country as a result of the standoff.
Gbagbo did not sound cowed Sunday in an interview on state-run television about the impending arrival today of Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga, and three other west African leaders. They follow a failed previous attempt at negotiation with Gbagbo on Dec. 28 by other African leaders.
"You should not count on foreign armies to come and make [Ouattara] president," Gbagbo said. "I therefore extend my hand so we can talk."
Depagne traces Gbagbo's insistence on clinging to power to a variety of factors that include his influential wife, Simone Gbagbo -- often dubbed the "Hillary Clinton of the tropics" -- and his belief that he is the one leader who will make Ivory Coast completely independent of France and the U.S.
"He's not crazy, but he has a destructive streak," Depagne said. "He's very talented, but he's addicted to power. I think he was shocked that he didn't win the election."
More than 200 people have been reported killed in the past five days, and at least 20,000 have fled to seek refuge in neighboring Liberia since the stand-off began after the election.
Troops loyal to Gbagbo have surrounded the Abidjan hotel where Ouattara and 800 peacekeepers have been holed up. They are also suspected in the post-election violence aimed at Ouattara's supporters.
The United Nations has called on its peacekeepers in the region to investigate what they believe are atrocities and at least two mass graves, The Guardian reported.
The U.N. believes there may be two mass graves, one of which contains at least 80 bodies, that investigators have been prevented from accessing, The Guardian reported. One is believed to be in an Abidjan neighborhood loyal to Gbagbo and another is near Gagnoa in the middle of the country.
Gbagbo's feared lieutenant, Charles Ble Goude, did call off a planned assault Sunday on the Golf Hotel where Ouattara and his team are camped out under siege.
The notorious Goude, dubbed the "Street General," said on state television that he was postponing a plan to attack the Golf Hotel, The Telegraph reported. Goude said they had "decided to give a chance to the negotiations that are under way."