Throughout the Cold War, Côte d'Ivoire's foreign policy was generally favorable toward the West. The country became a member of the United Nations in 1960 and participates in most of its specialized agencies. It maintains a wide variety of diplomatic contacts, and, in 1986, announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Israel. Côte d'Ivoire sought change in South Africa through dialogue, and its ambassador was one of the first to be accredited to post-apartheid South Africa.
The Ivorian Government has traditionally played a constructive role in Africa. President Houphouet-Boigny was active in the mediation of regional disputes, most notably in Liberia and Angola, and had considerable stature throughout the continent. President Bedie has set in train a friendly neighbor policy with all contiguous states, having visited all of them. In 1996-97 Côte d'Ivoire sent a medical unit to participate in regional peacekeeping in Liberia, its first peacekeeping effort. President Bedie has announced that Côte d'Ivoire will expand its involvement in peacekeeping.
Côte d'Ivoire continues to maintain extremely close relations with France. President Houphouet, who was a minister in the French Government prior to independence, insisted that the connection remain unsevered. Concrete examples of Franco-Ivorian cooperation are numerous: French is Côte d'Ivoire's official language, Ivorian security is enhanced by a brigade of French marines stationed in Abidjan, some 20,000 French expatriates continue to make their home in Côte d'Ivoire, and the country's currency, the CFA franc, is tied to the French franc.
Côte d'Ivoire belongs to the UN and most of its specialized agencies, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), African Mauritian Common Organization (OCAM), Council of Entente Communaute Financiere Africane (CFA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nonaggression and Defense Agreement (ANAD), INTELSAT, Nonaligned Movement, African Regional Satillite Organization (RASCOM), InterAfrican Coffee Organizations (IACO), International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), Alliance of Cocoa Producers, African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP), and Association of Coffee Producing Countries (ACPC). Côte d'Ivoire also belongs to the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank; it is an associate member of European Union.
Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, mostly for local consumption; minor transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin to Europe and occasionally to the United States, and for Latin American cocaine destined for Europe