Top French Diplomat To Attend Inauguration Of Reelected Ivory Coast President On Monday

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th December, 2020) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will on Monday attend the inauguration ceremony of Alassane Ouattara, who was recently reelected as president of Cote d'Ivoire, the French Foreign Ministry said.

Le Drian arrived in the African country on Sunday to represent French President Emmanuel Macron at the swearing-in ceremony, which will take place later in the day at the Presidential Palace in the city of Abidjan, the foreign ministry said.

According to the statement by the ministry, Le Drian will discuss with Ouattara the internal tensions in Ivory Coast, following the controversial October 31 election, which saw the incumbent head of state entering his third presidential term with nearly 95 percent of the vote. The official results have been denied by several opposition figures, who had boycotted the vote, and led to the escalation of protests against Ouattara's candidature on the presidential post, resulting in a full-scale political crisis. Notably, riots have been underway since summer.

Besides, the ministry said, the officials are also due to discuss regional security challenges, including the terrorist activities in the Sahel region, and other bilateral issues. The Ivory Coast was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960.

The ministry also noted that le Drian will meet with other senior officials attending the inauguration.

Several heads of African states are also expected to be present, including Benin's Patrice Talon, Togo's Faure Gnassingbe, the Republic of the Congo's Denis Sassou-Nguesso and Ghana's Nana Akufo-Addo.