Ivory Coast embassy to close

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Top Norwegian government officials have been urging the world not to forget the Ivory Coast, but they’re in the process of closing Norway’s own embassy in the embattled country. All embassy personnel are due to be moved out of the Ivory Coast by June 15.

Erik Solheim, the government minister in charge of foreign aid, said he sees the paradox but stresses that the embassy is being moved to Ghana, where Norwegian business and foreign aid activity has a much larger presence.

“There are few Norwegians in the Ivory Coast, little trade and limited political cooperation,” Solheim told newspaper Dagsavisen, but added that  “moving the embassy doesn’t mean we won’t keep a focus on the Ivory Coast.”

The embassy closure means Norway no longer has any embassies in the French-speaking portions of Africa. “There’s no doubt we are closer tied to English-speaking Africa because we’re better at English,” Solheim told Dagsavisen. But he pointed out that Norway maintains diplomatic ties with Burundi, Congo and Mali in addition to Algeria and Morocco.

Views and News staff