Pope Benedict XVI received the President of Ivory Coast on Friday. Situated in west
Africa, Ivory Coast is a religiously and ethnically diverse country, the population
comprised of roughly equal groups of Muslims, Christians, and followers of traditional
religious practices. The country experienced political instability recently (2010-2011),
which erupted into a brief but intense civil war, when the country’s long-time ruler
refused to cede power to President Ouattara after internationally certified elections.
Below is Vatican Radio’s translation of the official communiqué from the Press Office
of the Holy See regarding the visit.
Communiqué from the Press Office of the Holy See
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI received the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), His Excellency, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, on Friday at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. President Ouattara also met with the Holy See’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and with the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.
During the course of their conversation, the cordial relations existing between the Holy See and Côte d'Ivoire were recognized, as well as a mutual appreciation of the contributions that the Church can offer for the good of the country, encouraging peace and promoting human rights, dialogue and national reconciliation, the only way to promote unity and development. The colloquies also underlined the fruitful cooperation between the Church and the State, in the field of health and education, inter alia. Hope was expressed for the conclusion of negotiations in view of an Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.
The talks also reviewed some regional challenges that currently face the African continent, which are of particular concern to Mr. Ouattara as President of the Economic Community of West African countries.
16th November, 2012