By Mudassir Raja
The official opening ceremony of the embassy of Ivory Coast on Wednesday evening turned into a get-together where different members from the diplomatic corps in Qatar got a chance to network and greet each other.
A felicitous launching ceremony was organised by the embassy of Ivory Coast as Dr Abdul Kadir Cisse, ambassador of Ivory Coast, where his wife invited a host of ambassadors, diplomats, Qatari dignitaries and media.
The ceremony started with the national anthems of the two countries. The Ivorian ambassador made a welcome note speech and highlighted the prospects of the bilateral ties with Qatar. Then a cake-cutting ceremony was held. Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Protocol director, was also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Cisse said: “Six months after our existence in Doha, without false modesty, we can declare that bilateral co-operation between Ivory Coast and Qatar is going well and in the right direction.
“The main Ivorian-Qatari Joint Committee, whose initial leg of activities are scheduled to take place in 2020, will make it possible to assess the progress made and explore new fields of co-operation between the two friendly nations. Above all, this committee will allow considering any means aimed at strengthening our strategic solidarity through mutual support for our position in the international scene.”
Further highlighting the bilateral relations, the ambassador said: “His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, visited Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast in 2017. Alassane Ouattara, President of Ivory Coast, visited Doha in 2018 and earlier in 2013. Qatar opened its embassy in Abidjan in September 2018. Ivory Coast opened its embassy in Doha in February 2019. This shows the strong will and desire by both countries to develop strong and fruitful relations.”
Regarding the economic ties, the ambassador said: “Our embassy sets very important objectives to achieve at the level of eco-diplomacy. With the finalisation of an MoU between the chambers of commerce and industry from Ivory Coast and Qatar, bilateral economic relations and trade will grow significantly in the years to come. In a very attractive business and investment environment, having security index to international standards, the investment in Ivory Coast has many advantages.”
He spoke highly about the robust consumer market of his country that is coupled with machanisation of the agriculture products.
As far as social and humanitarian activities are concerned, the ambassador said: “Ivory Coast looks forward to opening a Qatar Charity office in Abidjan to support different programmes of the government focusing on construction of healthcare centres and hospitals, erection of schools and universities, provision of clean drinking water and electrification of rural and semi-rural areas, and construction of roads and other infrastructure.”
About the field of education, he said: “A project currently being developed with the ‘Education for All’ institution will make it possible to meet an important demand to reintegrate into the education system tens of thousands of young Ivorians currently out of the formal system.” The ambassador further said that Qatar Airways’ forthcoming Doha-Abidjan route will undoubtedly give further impetus to economic and trade relations between the two countries. It will also help improve bilateral tourism. Ivory Coast also plans to have co-operation with Katara Hospitality to improve cultural co-operation.
At the end of the ceremony, a documentary film was also run for the gathering. The film aptly highlighted the potentials and progress of Ivory Coast. The documentary also highlighted the trade and tourism opportunities that the country offers.
The hosts also entertained the guests with delicious cuisine.
The ambassadors and diplomats got the opportunity to socialise and discuss various issues. They appreciated the hospitality of the Ivory Coast ambassador and enjoyed the gathering.
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