Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

To smack or not to smack?

Read more

DEBATE

Soft on Smacking? France slammed for not banning corporal punishment (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

French Muslims refuse to be scapegoats for extremists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu's arguments'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Hollande: 'We have to tear voters away from the National Front'

Read more

FACE-OFF

French local elections: Far-right National Front in pole position

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'Citizen Four', 'The Circle' and 'Wolf Totem'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tangerine Dream: Afropolitan star Yemi Alade chats to FRANCE 24

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Islamic State group's child soldiers

Read more

Africa

France vows to remain Ivory Coast’s top economic partner

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-15

French Prime Minister François Fillon (pictured) said Paris was determined to remain Ivory Coast’s top economic partner Friday, months after aiding current president, Alassane Ouattara, to seize power from strongman Laurent Gbagbo.

AFP - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon vowed Paris would remain Ivory Coast's top partner Friday, on the highest-ranking visit by the former colonial power since the new regime took office.

"Ivory Coast is at a crossroads," said Fillon, who arrived in the troubled west African nation late Thursday on the first leg of a three-nation tour of regional trade partners.
             
"The challenge will be to succeed in seizing the opportunity of the shock it has just suffered to unite the country again and lay new foundations," he said.
             
Former strongman Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to relinquish power to his rival Alassane Ouattara in November elections led to a deadly and protracted crisis in the world's top cocoa producer, once the jewel of France's colonies.
             
The fiery Gbagbo, whose 10 years in power marked a low point in bilateral relations, was eventually captured in April, clearing the way for Ouattara, who has deep ties with France.
             
France, which has remained Ivory Coast's top economic partner, sent €350 million ($495 million) in emergency assistance to help pay the salaries of civil servants and €100 million ($141 million) to help French and Ivorian firms affected by the country's successive crises.
             
Fillon, who was accompanied by a large corporate delegation, was speaking at the inauguration of an economic forum in the economic capital Abidjan.
             
"We are determined to remain your closest partner and the many companies that came with me will tell you so," Fillon told an attendance that included his counterpart Guillaume Soro.
             
France played a leading role in ousting Gbagbo, joining UN forces in launching military action against him earlier this year.
             
Fillon will meet with Ouattara before heading in the evening to his next stop in Ghana, considered a democratic model with strong economic growth in the region. His final stop is oil-rich Gabon.
             
French President Nicolas Sarkozy attended Ouattara's inauguration in May, and was the only Western head of state present.

 

Date created : 2011-07-15

  • IVORY COAST

    Warrant issued for Gbagbo ally Charles Blé Goudé

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Gbagbo allies charged with challenging 'state authority'

    Read more

  • IVORY COAST

    Prosecutor asks to probe post-election war crime allegations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)