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Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast

Relations with Israel

From the early 1960s, Houphouët-Boigny openly admired Israel's application of technology to economic development. In 1962 the two countries signed a cooperation agreement and exchanged ambassadors. For its part, Israel provided aid, primarily in the form of technical expertise, to the Ivoirian military and to the agricultural, tourism, and banking sectors.

In spite of the close ties between the two countries, Houphouët-Boigny supported the OAU decision to sever ties with Israel following the October 1973 War. Nonetheless, the two countries maintained close if informal links that enabled Israel to continue to participate in the Ivoirian economy. In February 1986, Houphouët-Boigny announced the long-awaited resumption of diplomatic relations. Moreover, the Ivoirian embassy was again to be located in Jerusalem, in defiance of a 1980 United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution calling on all countries to withdraw their embassies from that city. The PDCI, presumably with Houphouët-Boigny's authorization, however, subsequently voted to honor the UN resolution and moved the embassy to Tel Aviv.

In its diplomacy at the UN and other multinational forums, Côte d'Ivoire remained firmly committed to the West. That commitment did not change through 1987--nor was it expected to--especially since the Ivoirian economy required continuing support from Western sources of funding. Nor were there expected to be significant foreign policy changes under a successor to the aging HouphouëtBoigny , since the consensus among the elite on domestic and foreign policy issues was holding, even as the political maneuvering and skirmishing among possible replacements intensified.

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Because of its regional importance, its close identification with the West, and its spectacular economic growth through the 1960s and 1970s, the literature on government and politics in Côte d'Ivoire is rich and accessible. The principal sources of background material for this study include the following texts: One-Party Government in the Ivory Coast by Aristide R. Zolberg; The Political Economy of Ivory Coast, edited by I. William Zartman and Christopher Delgado; Etat et bourgeoisie en Côte d'Ivoire, edited by Y. A. Fauré and J.-F. Médard; and Michael A. Cohen's Urban Policy and Political Conflict in Africa. Especially useful for their critical perspective are Marcel Amondji's Côte d'Ivoire: Le PDCI et la vie politique de 1944 à 1985 and Laurent Gbagbo's Côte d'Ivoire: Pour une alternative démocratique, as well as several articles by Bonnie Campbell. Two small but valuable texts on Ivoirian political institutions are Albert Aggrey's Guide des institutions politiques et administratives and Hugues Tay's L'Administration ivoirienne. Sources for contemporary reportage include Africa South of the Sahara, Africa Contemporary Record, the Country Reports published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and the periodicals Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Fraternité matin, Jeune Afrique, and Marchés tropicaux et Méditerranéens. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of November 1988