Ivory Coast Reopens Its Embassy in Jerusalem; Envoy to Arrive in 2 Weeks

Ivory Coast reopened its Embassy in Jerusalem Monday, formally resuming diplomatic ties with Israel which it broke after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. A Charge d’Affaires will head the Embassy for the next two weeks, until the Ambassador arrives to present his credentials to President Chaim Herzog.

Israel and Ivory Coast agreed to resume diplomatic relations at a meeting in Geneva last January between Premier Shimon Peres and President Felix Houphouet-Boigny. Israel already has an Ambassador in Abidjan, capital of the West African nation. The fact that he is the former interests officer promoted to Ambassadorial rank appeared to have irked the Ivorians, according to some sources here, and accounts for the nine-month delay in reopening the Embassy. Others believe Ivory Coast, with a 15 percent Moslem population, may have been nervous about resuming relations with Israel.

But the fact that the Embassy is in Jerusalem rather than Tel Aviv is heartening to Israelis. The Ivory Coast government continued to pay rent for the building during the 13 years it was vacant and also paid the salary of the Embassy secretary who has now returned to her old job.

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