Foreign Relations of Côte D'Ivoire

Foreign Relations Of Côte D'Ivoire

Throughout the Cold War, Ivory Coast's foreign policy was generally favorable toward the West. In particular, Félix Houphouët-Boigny kept relations with France that was among the closest between any African country and a former colonial power. The country became a member of the United Nations at independence in 1960 and participates in most of its specialized agencies. It is also an associate member of the European Union. In general, President Bédié initiated and maintained relations with many countries of the European Union and Asia. Ivory Coast maintains a wide variety of diplomatic contacts.

Houphouët-Boigny was one of the first African leaders to establish ties with Israel. In 1973, first Ethiopia, then the Organization of African Unity (OAU), broke ties with Israel as an act of solidarity with Arab members of the OAU. Virtually all of Africa followed suit including Ivory Coast. However, it was one of the first to re-establish relations with Israel in 1986.

Ivory Coast also sought change in South Africa through dialogue, and its newly-named ambassador was among the first to be accredited to post-apartheid South Africa. Ivory Coast's foreign relations suffered following the December 1999 coup that brought President Guei to power. Many foreign institutions (including the IMF) withheld foreign aid.

Most of the western international community, as well as the OAU, considered the October 2000 elections to have been seriously flawed. Foreign donor institutions which halted aid pending a return to civilian rule have largely continued their freeze. The London Club has also not expressed a willingness to revisit the issue of debt rescheduling. The electoral shifts in the country therefore continue to mar foreign relations.

Regional and international assistance, however, helped to end the conflict in 2002, and to bring about the establishment of a power sharing government in 2003. The cooperative stance augurs well for Ivory Coast's foreign relations.

Read more about Foreign Relations Of Côte D'Ivoire:  Regional Relations, Other Important Relations

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