Morocco opens Ivory Coast’s largest mosque

Morocco opens Ivory Coast’s largest mosque

Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara, right, talks to King Mohammed VI of Morocco aboard a boat cruising on the Seine river near Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017

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Ivory Coast

Morocco has opened what is now Ivory Coast’s largest mosque, after seven years of work in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan.

Muslims make up around 40 percent of the population in Ivory coast, and are concentrated in the country’s north.

Mabri Toikeuss, a mosque attendee who came for the mosque’s dedication and Friday prayers, said the mosque is “an important work of his majesty the king of Morocco. It is an act of generosity, of faith, but also an act of deep love for Ivory Coast, the Ivorian people.”

Morocco-Ivory Coast relations go back many years, and King Mohammed VI has toured West Africa multiple times in efforts to increase Morocco’s influence in the region, making several visits to Ivory Coast specifically.

He maintains a close relationship with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, most recently congratulating him publicly on Ivory Coast winning the Africa Cup of Nations in February.

Morocco’s ambassador to Ivory Coast was present at the ceremony and said “relations between Ivory Coast and Morocco date back 60 years.”

Morocco invests heavily across Francophone West Africa, and Ivory Coast is one of the most stable of the former French colonies in the region, with Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Guinea experiencing coups in recent years.

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