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World > Africa > Cote d'Ivoire > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Cote d'Ivoire - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
Throughout the Cold War, Cote d'Ivoire's foreign policy was generally favorable toward the West. The country became a member of the United Nations in 1960 and participates in most of its specialized agencies. It maintains a wide variety of diplomatic contacts. It sought change in South Africa through dialogue and was the first country accredited to post-apartheid South Africa. In 1986, Cote d'Ivoire announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Israel.

France remains Cote d'Ivoire's single most important foreign partner. President Houphouet-Boigny, who was a minister in the French Government prior to independence, insisted that the connection with France remain strong. Concrete examples of Franco-Ivoirian cooperation are numerous: French is Cote d'Ivoire's official language; Cote d'Ivoire adopted the French legal system; a French marine infantry brigade stationed in Abidjan augmented security; thousands of French expatriates continue to work and live in Cote d'Ivoire; and the CFA franc currency is tied to the euro. However, the September 2002 events injected strain into the relationship, as the Ivoirian Government criticized France for its perceived failure to uphold its commitment under the 1961 mutual defense treaty by helping government forces recapture rebel-held areas. However, the French did send additional forces--reaching a total of around 4,000 troops as of fall 2003--to secure the ceasefire line between regular government and rebel forces. The French contingent was joined by a force provided by various member states of ECOWAS that totaled over 3,000 as of fall 2003. Anti-French riots erupted in Abidjan in late January-early February 2003, but bilateral relations subsequently improved amidst ongoing French military and diplomatic efforts to promote a peaceful resolution of the crisis. As noted above, relations with France deteriorated substantially after the events of November 2004.

The Ivoirian Government has traditionally played a constructive role in Africa. President Houphouet-Boigny was active in the mediation of regional disputes, most notably in Liberia and Angola, and had considerable stature throughout the continent. In 1996-97 Cote d'Ivoire sent a medical unit to participate in regional peacekeeping in Liberia, its first peacekeeping effort. Cote d'Ivoire's hopes to expand its involvement in regional peacekeeping efforts were derailed by the December 1999 coup. Still a regional economic powerhouse, Cote d'Ivoire hopes to retake its place in promoting regional stability when the resolution of its current crisis permits. In May 2004, Cote d'Ivoire joined the Community of Sahel and Saharan States (CENSAD).

Cote d'Ivoire belongs to the UN and most of its specialized agencies; the African Union; West African Economic and Monetary Union; ECOWAS; African Mauritian Common Organization; Council of Entente Communaute Financiere Africane; Non-aggression and Defense Agreement; Nonaligned Movement; African Regional Satellite Organization; InterAfrican Coffee Organizations; International Cocoa Organization; Alliance of Cocoa Producers; African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries; and Association of Coffee Producing Countries. Cote d'Ivoire also belongs to the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank; it is an associate member of the European Union.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
CFA Franc BCEAO Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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