King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium arrived in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan on Wednesday (21 November) to a warm and colourful welcome.
King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium arrived in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan on Wednesday (21 November) to a warm and colourful welcome. During their three-day official visit the King planned to confer with President Felix Houphouet-Boigny and inspect several of the country's economic achievements.
SYNOPSIS: The royal guests were welcomed at Abidjan airport by the President and a party of officials.
The visit is a long-awaited return of President Houphouet-Boigny's visit to Belgium in 1977, after which he told his nation that Belgium was model to strive for in developing a modern society.
For days before their arrival, the Ivory Coast newspaper `Fraternite Matin' carried photos of the King and Queen as well as editorials about them and their country. The capital was decked out in the colours of the two countries, and the people of Abidjan had a holiday to mark the Royal arrival.
President Houphouet-Boigny praised the cooperation between the European Economic Community (EEC) and the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP). But he firmly denounced what he called the current of fanaticism, both political and religious, recently seen in the world.
Tribal chiefs were also on hand to welcome the Royal couple.
King Boudouin said he hoped that European technology might aid African development, to the advantage of both parties.