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June 6, 2023


Ambassador Davis Ba’s remarks at Ethiopian Airlines ‘direct flight between Abidjan and New York.

I am honored to be here today as we celebrate the resumption of the Ethiopian Airlines’ nonstop flight service between Abidjan and New York City.  The airways that connect us are not merely physical routes – they are lifelines for trade, culture, and shared experiences.

This momentous occasion not only marks a triumph over the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic but also reaffirms the enduring economic connection between Côte d’Ivoire and the United States.  Our bilateral trade, valued at approximately $1.6 billion, helps drive growth and prosperity in both our nations.  This direct flight will undoubtedly boost our thriving commercial relationship, expanding the horizon of opportunities for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.

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More than just trade, this flight will foster cultural understanding, enabling a richer exchange of ideas and traditions.  Each passenger who embarks on this journey will not only be a traveler but an ambassador, carrying with them their unique stories and experiences, building mutual respect and appreciation between our peoples.

I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ethiopian Airlines and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.  Ethiopian Airlines has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability in overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic, thereby ensuring the continuity of essential air links that foster international cooperation and economic growth.

The unwavering commitment of the Ivoirian government to improve the country’s business climate has been pivotal in making today’s event a reality.  The resumption of this direct flight is a testament to your combined efforts, embodying the strength of public-private partnerships in driving progress and development.

I also commend those from the Ivoirian government, Ethiopian Airlines, and the United States government who have worked to re-certify Abidjan’s international airport for direct service to the United States.

I should note also that the U.S. Embassy welcomes this nonstop connection to the United States, which will greatly contribute to our operational needs and efficiency.

As we commemorate this significant milestone, we look forward to the limitless possibilities that this renewed connection between Abidjan and New York City presents for us all.

Thank you.