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Côte d'Ivoire – United States relations: Map

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United States – Côte d'Ivoire relations are bilateral international relations between the United Statesmarker and Côte d'Ivoiremarker.

History

Côte d'Ivoire's relationship with the U.S. was cordial, if less intimate than its ties with its former colonizer Francemarker. Through the mid-1980s, Côte d'Ivoire was one of Africa's most loyal supporter of the United States in the United Nations General Assembly. It supported the larger United States agenda on Chadmarker, the Western Saharamarker, South Africa, and Israelmarker. The government strongly approved of moves by the United States against Muammar al-Gaddafi, especially in light of rumors that Libyansmarker in Burkina Fasomarker were recruiting and training agents to infiltrate Côte d'Ivoire. United States Secretary of State George P. Shultz visited Abidjanmarker in 1986 following Félix Houphouët-Boigny's visit to Washington, D.C.marker in 1983.

The United States continued to be Côte d'Ivoire's leading trading partner, after France. During the Cold War, foreign policymakers in Washington continued to point to Côte d'Ivoire as an exemplar of successful capitalism, even as Côte d'Ivoire's foreign debt mounted out of control. While enjoying a favorable image in the United States, Houphouët-Boigny has indirectly criticized the United States by attacking the system of international trade, which the United States supported unequivocally, but which Houphouët-Boigny claimed was responsible for his country's economic ills.

Some strain has resulted from the Section 508 restrictions on nonhumanitarian aid imposed on Cote d'Ivoire following the December 1999 coup. Because of Ivoirian governmental interference in the 2000 presidential elections, the Section 508 restrictions were not lifted. The U.S. participates in the international effort to assist Cote d'Ivoire in overcoming its current crisis, providing more than a quarter of the funding for the UN peacekeeping mission that helps to maintain the ceasefire. The U.S. has also provided modest economic support fund (ESF) assistance to promote democracy. The U.S. is sympathetic to Cote d'Ivoire's desire for rapid, orderly economic development as well as its moderate stance on international issues. Bilateral U.S. Agency for International Development funding, with the exception of self-help and democracy and human rights funds, has been phased out, although Cote d'Ivoire continues to benefit to a limited extent from regional West African programs. The country remains a major beneficiary of U.S. assistance in combating HIV/AIDS, as it is one of 15 focus countries under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). With assistance under PEPFAR likely to total some $85 million in FY 2007, this is by far the largest U.S. assistance program in Cote d’Ivoire. Ivoirian eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been withdrawn, following the political impasse resulting from the 2002 rebellion.

The U.S. and Cote d'Ivoire maintain an active cultural exchange program, through which prominent Ivoirian Government officials, media representatives, educators, and scholars visit the U.S. to become better acquainted with the American people and to exchange ideas and views with their American colleagues. This cooperative effort is furthered through frequent visits to Cote d'Ivoire by representatives of U.S. business and educational institutions, and by visits of Fulbright-Hays scholars and specialists in various fields. A new U.S. Embassy chancery compound opened in July 2005.

A modest security assistance program that provides professional training for Ivoirian military officers in the U.S. has been suspended by the Section 508 restrictions.

Principal U.S. Officials
  • Ambassador--Wanda Nesbitt
  • Deputy Chief of Mission--Cynthia Akuetteh
  • Management Counselor--Marcia Norman
  • Political/Economic Counselor--Silvia Eiriz
  • Economic Officer--Ervin Massinga
  • Consular Affairs Officer--Robby Thomas
  • Defense Attache--COL Patrick Doyle
  • Public Affairs Officer--Sharon White


The U.S. Embassy is located at Riveria Golf, Cocody, Abidjanmarker, Cote d'Ivoire (tel. 225. 22-49-4000, fax. 22-49-4323); mailing address is 01 B.P. 1712, Abidjan 01, Cote d'Ivoire.

References


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