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Côte d’Ivoire’s Ouattara & Thiam: Possible warming of relations?

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Thursday, 27 May 2021 12:12

Tidjane Thiam and Alassane Ouattara. Photomontage / Photos: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images; REUTERS/Luc Gnago

Despite a fragile relationship, Côte d'Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara met with Tidjane Thiam, the former CEO of Credit Suisse, on the sidelines of the Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris.

According to our information, Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara (ADO) and his wife Dominique met with Tidjane Thiam, the former CEO of Credit Suisse, on 20 May at the Élysée Palace. All three were attending a ceremony that was paying tribute to several French bankers of international repute, including Michel Camdessus, who was the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a close friend of the Ivorian president.

“Warm and friendly” words

The former head of Credit Suisse was one of France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s guests. According to our sources, Thiam exchanged some “warm and friendly” words with the Ivorian head of state.

ADO and Thiam have a delicate relationship. In fact, their last formal tête-à-tête was back in 2000.

During the 30 October 2020 presidential election, Thiam joined the opposition, which had called for civil disobedience and challenged ADO’s third presidential term. He subsequently disassociated himself from the opposition after the National Transitional Council was created.

Reconciliation and appeasement

On 18 May, ADO and Thiam had attended the Summit on Financing African Economies at the Grand Palais Éphémère, but they had not spoken.

ADO’s relationship with opposition leader Henri Konan Bédié, who advocates reconciliation and appeasement, is also improving.

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