Ivory Coast Foreign Minister Arsene Usher Assouan conferred the rank of Grand Officer of the Ivory Coast National Order on the Gabonese Ambassador, M.
SV Sandoungout and Assouan greeting each other
SV Pan from flower to mural
SV Assouan speaking while Sandoungout listens (2 shots)
SV Sandoungout being presented with decorations
SCU Assouan places decoration on Sandoungout and the two embrace
SCU Sandoungout speaking
SV Assouan listens
SV Assouan and Sandoungout shake hands and people applaud
CU Tapestry on wall
SCU Sandoungout signing document and the two men toast each other
Initials OS/2313 OS/2324
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Ivory Coast Foreign Minister Arsene Usher Assouan conferred the rank of Grand Officer of the Ivory Coast National Order on the Gabonese Ambassador, M. Marcel Sandoungout, in a ceremony in Abidjan on Friday (13 August). M. Sandoungout, who represented Gabon in the Ivory Coast for the past three years, is being transferred to Paris.
SYNOPSIS: This presidential building in Abidjan was the scene on Friday of a ceremony in which the departing Gabonese Ambassador was honoured by the Ivory Coast's Foreign Affairs Minister, Arsene Usher Assouan. M. Marcel Sandoungout, who has represented Gabon in Abidjan for the past three years, is being transferred to Paris.
The ceremony began with a speech by the Foreign Minister in which he praised the Gabonese Ambassador. He said that the Ivory Coast thanked the Ambassador for the way in which he helped bring the two countries closer together. Then, M. Assouan conferred the rank of Grand Officer of the Ivory Coast National Order upon M. Sandoungout.
The Foreign Minister said the presentation was one way in which the Ivory Coast could demonstrate its thanks for the work done by the Ambassador during his three years in Abidjan. There were a number of high-ranking Ivorian officials attending the ceremony.
M. Sandoungout thanked the Foreign Minister and spoke of the friendship between their countries. That friendship he said, had importance for all of Africa.
The Gabonese Ambassador, who is married with three children, said his departure filled him with regret. But, he said, he would not forget his impressions of the Ivory Coast and would cherish his memories of the country. M. Sandoungout also offered best wishes to President Houphouet-Boigny.
M. Sandoungout signed a document marking the end of his duties in Abidjan. The Ambassador and the Foreign Minister then toasted each other as the ceremony drew to a close.