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Ivory Coast leader visits Pope

Catholic World News - November 16, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 16 with President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast.

Ouattara arrived at the Vatican under heavy security. He took power in Ivory Coast only after a bloody civil war, which was ignited when his predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down after Ouattara won presidential elections.

Ouattara, a Muslim, is from the north of Ivory Coast, a mainly Islamic region. But his wife, who accompanied him on the trip to the Vatican, is Christian. The African leader told the Pontiff, “I have come to seek your advice and your blessing.”

A Vatican statement released after the 20-minute private talk between Ouattara and the Pope said that the topics had included Church-state relations, national reconciliation, and African affairs generally.

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