Brussels, 28 March 2007 - The European Commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, Mr Louis Michel, welcomes the positive conclusion of the second round of direct dialogue between the main players in the Ivory Coast crisis, which has led to the Secretary-General of the New Forces, Mr Guillaume Soro, being appointed Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast.
Mr Michel also wished to congratulate the President of Burkina Faso, Mr Blaise Compaoré, on his role in facilitating the peace process in the Ivory Coast, and ECOWAS and the African Union for the peaceful conclusion of this process. He praised the efforts made by Prime Minister Charles Konan Banny these last fifteen months in implementing his roadmap.
The European Commission will be giving its political support to the new Prime Minister within the framework of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, which remain an essential reference point for arranging the transition.
Mr Michel encouraged the main players in the country to support the new government in its task of resolving the fundamental issues of identification, reform of the security and defence forces, and the demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) process, and in preparing free and transparent elections. At this crucial juncture, the European Commission - as the main donor in the Ivory Coast with projects under way worth €300 million - will continue to provide concrete support to the Ivory Coast and its people, who have been seriously affected by the crisis.