(No. 138 – May 20, 2011 – 2:10 p.m. ET) The Honourable John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today announced that Senator Raynell Andreychuk will represent Canada at the inauguration of Alassane Ouattara as president of Côte d’Ivoire in Yamoussoukro on May 21, 2011.
Following the presidential election of November 28, 2010, the United Nations certified Mr. Ouattara as the winner. The Economic Community of West African States and the African Union, as well as Canada and the rest of the international community, recognized Mr. Ouattara as the democratically elected leader of the Ivorian people.
Several months of stalemate and civil unrest, caused by the persistent refusal of former president Laurent Gbagbo to accept the election result, prevented Mr. Ouattara from taking office until now.
This inauguration is a crucial step toward the restoration of peace and development in Côte d’Ivoire and a victory for democracy in Africa. Canada is encouraged by Mr. Ouattara’s recently declared commitment to reconciliation, respect for human rights, transparent and efficient governance, and sustained economic development.
Canada will continue to stand by the Ivorian people in this new phase in Côte d’Ivoire’s democratic development.
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