French PM to head high-powered delegation to Cote d'Ivoire

17:01, July 13, 2011      

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French Prime Minister Francois Fillon is to head a high-powered delegation to Cote d'Ivoire on Thursday for a two-day visit, according to the government.

"The French prime minister will be visiting Abidjan on July 14- 15 on the occasion to celebrate the independence of France," the prime minister's office of Cote d'Ivoire said in a statement.

According to the statement, Fillon will be accompanied by officials including Finance Minister Francois Baroin and Henri Raincourt, who is in charge of the cooperation docket.

Parliamentarians and economic operators are also expected in Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire.

Fillon will be welcomed by his Cote d'Ivoire counterpart Guillaume Soro before holding talks with President Alassane Ouattara, economic operators and the French community in the West African country.

Fillon's visit comes after a trip by French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet on June 27.

The mistrust between Cote d'Ivoire and its former colonial power under ex-president Laurent Gbagbo began to disappear with his arrest on April 11 by forces allied to his rival Ouattara, who enjoyed support from the French Licorne forces and the UN peacekeepers operating in Cote d'Ivoire.

Source: Xinhua
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