U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Cote d'Ivoire, July 1998
Released by the Office of Francophone West African Affairs, Bureau of African 
Affairs.


Official Name: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

PROFILE

Geography
Area: 322,500 sq. km. (124,500 sq. mi.); slightly larger than New Mexico. 
Cities: Principal city-Abidjan. Capital-Yamoussoukro (official). Other cities-
Bouake, Daloa, Gagnoa, Korhogo, Man, San Pedro. 
Terrain: Undulating; hilly in the west. 
Climate: Tropical. 

People 
Nationality: Noun and adjective-Ivorian(s). 
Population (est): 15 million, including immigrants. 
Annual growth rate: 3.8%, with immigration. 
Ethnic groups: More than 60. 
Religions: Indigenous 25%-40%, Muslim 25%-40%, Christian 25%-40%. 
Language: French (official); five principal language groups. 
Education: Years compulsory-to age 16. Attendance-76%. Literacy-43%. 
Health: Infant mortality rate-88/1,000. Life expectancy-56 years. 

Government 
Type: Republic. Independence: December 7, 1960. 
Branches: Executive-president (chief of state and head of government). 
Legislative-unicameral National Assembly. Judicial-Supreme Court (4 chambers: 
constitutional, judicial, administrative, auditing). 
Administrative subdivisions: 16 regions; 56 departments; 196 communes. 
Political parties: Parti Democratique de la Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI) dominant party; 
Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI); Rallie des Republicaines (RDR); numerous other 
smaller political parties operate in Cote d'Ivoire. 
Suffrage: Universal at 21. 

Economy 
GDP (1997): $10 billion. 
Annual real growth rate (1997): 6%. 
Per capita income (1996): $600. 
Natural resources: Petroleum. 
Agriculture (33% of GDP): Products--cocoa, coffee, timber, rubber, corn, rice, 
tropical foods. 
Industry (20% of GDP): Types--food processing, textiles. 
Trade (1996): Exports-$4.25 billion: cocoa, coffee, timber, rubber, cotton, palm 
oil, pineapples, bananas. Major markets--France, Germany, Netherlands. U.S. 
Imports--$2.5 billion: consumer goods, basic food stuffs (rice, wheat), capital 
goods. Major suppliers-France, Nigeria, U.S., EU, Japan. 

PEOPLE 
Cote d'Ivoire has more than 60 ethnic groups, usually classified into five 
principal divisions: Akan (east and center, including Lagoon peoples of the 
southeast), Krou (southwest), Southern Mande (west), Northern Mande (northwest), 
Senoufo/Lobi (north center and northeast). The Baoules, in the the Akan 
division, probably comprise the largest single subgroup with 15%-20% of the 
population. They are based in the central region around Bouake and Yamoussoukro. 
The Betes in the Krou division, the Senoufos in the north, and the Malinkes in 
the northwest and the cities are the next largest groups, with 10%-15% of the 
national population. Most of the principal divisions have a significant presence 
in neighboring countries.

Of the more than 5 million non-Ivorian Africans living in Cote d'Ivoire, one-
third to one-half are from Burkina Faso; the rest are from Ghana, Guinea, Mali, 
Nigeria, Benin, Senegal, Liberia, and Mauritania. The non-African expatriate 
community includes roughly 20,000 French and possibly 100,000 Lebanese. The 
number of elementary school-aged children attending classes increased from 22% 
in 1960 to 67% in 1995.

HISTORY 
The early history of Cote d'Ivoire is virtually unknown, although it is thought 
that a neolithic culture existed there. France made its initial contact with 
Cote d'Ivoire in 1637, when missionaries landed at Assinie near the Gold Coast 
(now Ghana) border. Early contacts were limited to a few missionaries because of 
the inhospitable coastline and settlers' fear of the inhabitants. 

In the 18th century, the country was invaded by two related Akan groups-the 
Agnis, who occupied the southeast, and the Baoules, who settled in the central 
section. In 1843-44, Admiral Bouet-Williaumez signed treaties with the kings of 
the Grand Bassam and Assinie regions, placing their territories under a French 
protectorate. French explorers, missionaries, trading companies, and soldiers 
gradually extended the area under French control inland from the lagoon region. 
However, pacification was not accomplished until 1915. 

French Period 
Cote d'Ivoire officially became a French colony in 1893. Captain Binger, who had 
explored the Gold Coast frontier, was named the first governor. He negotiated 
boundary treaties with Liberia and the United Kingdom (for the Gold Coast) and 
later started the campaign against Almany Samory, a Malinke chief, who fought 
against the French until 1898. 

From 1904 to 1958, Cote d'Ivoire was a constituent unit of the Federation of 
French West Africa. It was a colony and an overseas territory under the Third 
Republic. Until the period following World War II, governmental affairs in 
French West Africa were administered from Paris. France's policy in West Africa 
was reflected mainly in its philosophy of "association," meaning that all 
Africans in Cote d'Ivoire were officially French "subjects" without rights to 
representation in Africa or France. 

During World War II, the Vichy regime remained in control until 1943, when 
members of Gen. Charles De Gaulle's provisional government assumed control of 
all French West Africa. The Brazzaville conference in 1944, the first 
Constituent Assembly of the Fourth Republic in 1946, and France's gratitude for 
African loyalty during World War II led to far-reaching governmental reforms in 
1946. French citizenship was granted to all African "subjects," the right to 
organize politically was recognized, and various forms of forced labor were 
abolished. 

A turning point in relations with France was reached with the 1956 Overseas 
Reform Act (Loi Cadre), which transferred a number of powers from Paris to 
elected territorial governments in French West Africa and also removed remaining 
voting inequalities.

Independence 
In December 1958, Cote d'Ivoire became an autonomous republic within the French 
community as a result of a referendum that brought community status to all 
members of the old Federation of French West Africa except Guinea, which had 
voted against association. Cote d'Ivoire became independent on August 7, 1960, 
and permitted its community membership to lapse. 

Cote d'Ivoire's contemporary political history is closely associated with the 
career of Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the republic and leader of the 
Parti Democratique de la Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI) until his death on December 7, 
1993. He was one of the founders of the Rassemblement Democratique Africain 
(RDA), the leading pre-independence inter-territorial political party in French 
West African territories (except Mauritania). 

Houphouet-Boigny first came to political prominence in 1944 as founder of the 
Syndicat Agricole Africain, an organization that won improved conditions for 
African farmers and formed a nucleus for the PDCI. After World War II, he was 
elected by a narrow margin to the first Constituent Assembly. Representing Cote 
d'Ivoire in the French National Assembly from 1946 to 1959, he devoted much of 
his effort to inter-territorial political organization and further amelioration 
of labor conditions. After his 13-year service in the French National Assembly, 
including almost 3 years as a minister in the French Government, he became Cote 
d'Ivoire's first Prime Minister in April 1959, and the following year was 
elected its first President. 

In May 1959, Houphouet-Boigny reinforced his position as a dominant figure in 
West Africa by leading Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Upper Volta (Burkina), and Dahomey 
(Benin) into the Council of the Entente, a regional organization promoting 
economic development. He maintained that the road to African solidarity was 
through step-by-step economic and political cooperation, recognizing the 
principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other African states. 

GOVERNMENT 
Cote d'Ivoire's 1959 constitution provides for strong presidency within the 
framework of a separation of powers. The executive is personified in the 
president, elected for a five-year term. The president is commander in chief of 
the armed forces, may negotiate and ratify certain treaties, and may submit a 
bill to a national referendum or to the National Assembly. According to the 
constitution, the President of the National Assembly assumes the presidency in 
the event of a vacancy, and he completes the remainder of the deceased 
president's term. The cabinet is selected by and is responsible to the 
president. Changes are being proposed to some of these provisions, to extend 
term of office to 7 years, establish a senate, and make president of the senate 
interim successor to the president.

The unicameral National Assembly is composed of 175 members elected by direct 
universal suffrage for a 5-year term concurrently with the president. It passes 
on legislation typically introduced by the president although it also can 
introduce legislation. 

The judicial system culminates in the Supreme Court. The High Court of Justice 
is competent to try government officials for major offenses. 

For administrative purposes, Cote d'Ivoire is divided into 56 departments, each 
headed by a prefect appointed by the central government. There are 196 communes, 
each headed by an elected mayor, plus the city of Abidjan with 10 mayors. 

The 17,000-man Ivorian Armed Forces (FANCI) include an army, navy, air force, 
and gendarmerie. The Joint Staff is assigned to the FANCI Headquarters in 
Abidjan. A two-star officer serves as the chief of staff and commander of the 
FANCI. Cote d'Ivoire is broken down into five military regions, each commanded 
by a colonel.

The army has the majority of its forces in the First Military Region 
concentrated in and around Abidjan, its principal units there being a rapid 
intervention battalion (airborne), an infantry battalion, an armored battalion, 
and an air defense artillery battalion. The Second Military Region is located in 
Daloa and is assigned one infantry battalion. The Third Military Region is 
headquartered in Bouake and is home to an artillery, an infantry, and an 
engineer battalion. The Fourth Military Region maintains only a Territorial 
Defense Company headquartered in Korhogo. The fifth region is the Western 
Operational Zone, a temporary command created to respond to the security threat 
caused by the civil war in neighboring Liberia. 

The gendarmerie is roughly equivalent in size to the army. It is a national 
police force which is responsible for territorial security, especially in rural 
areas. In times of national crisis the gendarmerie could be used to reinforce 
the army. The gendarmerie is commanded by a colonel-major and is comprised of 
four Legions, each corresponding to one of the four numbered military regions, 
minus the temporary military operational zone on the western border.

Cote d'Ivoire has a brown-water navy whose mission is coastal surveillance and 
security for the nation's 340-mile coastline. It has two fast-attack craft, two 
patrol crafts, and one light transport ship. It also has numerous smaller 
vessels used primarily for traffic, immigration, and contraband control within 
the lagoon system. 

The Ivorian Air Force's mission is to defend the nation's airspace and provide 
transportation support to the other services. Within its inventory are 5 Alpha 
jets, 12 transport/utility aircraft, and 2 helicopters. 
A mutual defense accord signed with France in 1961 provides for the stationing 
of French forces in Cote d'Ivoire. The 43rd Marine Infantry Battalion is based 
in Port Bouet adjacent to the Abidjan Airport and has more than 500 troops 
assigned. 

Principal Government Officials 
President--Henry Konan Bedie 
Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Finance and Plan--Daniel Kablan Duncan 
Foreign Minister--Amara Essy 

Ambassador to the United States--Moise Koumoue Koffi 
Ambassador to the UN--Youssoufou Bamba 

Cote d'Ivoire maintains an embassy at 2424 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, 
D.C. 20008 (202-483-2400). 

POLITICAL CONDITIONS 
In a region whose political systems have otherwise been noted for lack of 
stability, Cote d'Ivoire has shown remarkable political stability since its 
independence from France in 1960. Its relations with the United States are 
excellent. When many other countries in the region were undergoing repeated 
military coups, experimenting with Marxism, and developing ties with the Soviet 
Union and China, Cote d'Ivoire-under Felix Houphouet-Boigny, president from 
independence until his death in December 1993-maintained a close political 
allegiance to the West. President Bedie is very familiar with the United States, 
having served as Cote d'Ivoire's first ambassador to this country. 

Looking toward the country's future, the fundamental issue is whether its 
political system will maintain the stability which is the sine qua non for 
investor confidence and further economic development. Cote d'Ivoire evolved, 
with relatively little violence or dislocation, from a single-party state, 
beginning in 1990. Opposition parties, independent newspapers, and independent 
trades unions were made legal at that time. 

Since those major changes occurred, the country's pace of political change has 
been slow. Whether further democratic reform will take place, adequate to meet 
future challenges, is unknown. As is generally true in the region, the business 
environment is one in which personal contact and connections remain important, 
where rule of law does not prevail with assurance, and where the legislative and 
judicial branches of the government remain weak. The political system remains 
highly centralized with the president dominating both the ruling party and the 
legislature and judiciary. Cote d'Ivoire's efforts to break down central state 
control of the economy are undermined by the state's continued central control 
of the political system.

Cote d'Ivoire has a high population growth rate, a high crime rate (particularly 
in Abidjan), a high incidence of AIDS, a multiplicity of tribes, sporadic 
student unrest, a differential rate of in-country development according to 
region, and a dichotomy of religion associated with region and tribe. These 
factors put stress on the political system and will become more of a problem if 
the economy-not quite as dependent today on cocoa and coffee as it was some 
years ago but still dependent-takes a plunge similar to that of the 1980s.

The political system in Cote d'Ivoire is president-dominated. The Prime Minister 
concentrates principally on coordinating and implementing economic policy. The 
key decisions-political, military, or economic-continue to be made by President 
Bedie, as they were made by President Houphouet-Boigny. However, political 
dialogue is much freer today than prior to 1990, especially due to the 
opposition press, which vocalizes its criticism of the regime. The Ivorian 
Constitution affords the legislature some independence, but it has not been 
widely exercised. Until 1990, all legislators were from the PDCI. After the most 
recent elections (1995-96), the PDCI continues to hold 149 out of 175 seats. The 
PDCI's "core" region may be described as the terrain of the Baoule tribe in the 
country's center, home of both Houphouet-Boigny and Bedie; however, the PDCI is 
well-entrenched in all parts of Cote d'Ivoire.

The remaining 26 seats in the National Assembly are divided equally by the only 
two other parties of national scope-the FPI (Ivorian Popular Front) and RDR 
(Rally of Republicans). The oldest opposition party is the FPI, a moderate party 
which has a socialist coloration but which is more concerned with democratic 
reform than radical economic change; it is strongest in the terrain of its Bete 
tribe leader, Laurent Gbagbo. The non-ideological RDR was formed in September 
1994 by former members of the PDCI's reformist wing who hoped that former Prime 
Minister Alassane Ouattara would run and prevail in the 1995 presidential 
election (but who was disqualified by subsequent legislation requiring 5-year 
residency); it is strongest in the Muslim north. 

The presidential election of October 1995 was boycotted by the FPI and RDR 
because of Ouattara's disqualification and the absence of an independent 
electoral commission (among other grievances). Their "active boycott" produced a 
certain amount of violence and hundreds of arrests (with a number of the 
arrestees not tried for 2-1/2 years). These grievances remain unaddressed, with 
the next round of elections coming in the year 2000.

ECONOMY 
The Ivorian economy is largely market based and depends heavily on the 
agricultural sector. Almost 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form 
of agricultural activity. The economy performed poorly in the 1980s and early 
1990s, and high population growth coupled with economic decline resulted in a 
steady fall in living standards. Gross national product per capita, now rising 
again, was about U.S. $727 in 1996. (It was substantially higher two decades 
ago.) A majority of the population remains dependent on smallholder cash crop 
production. Principal exports are cocoa, coffee, and tropical woods. Principal 
U.S. exports are rice and wheat, plastic materials and resins, Kraft paper, 
agricultural chemicals, telecommunications, and oil and gas equipment. Principal 
U.S. imports are cocoa and cocoa products, petroleum, rubber, and coffee. 

Foreign Direct Investment Statistics 
Direct foreign investment (DFI) plays a key role in the Ivorian economy, 
accounting for between 40% and 45% of total capital in Ivorian firms. France is 
overwhelmingly the most important foreign investor. In recent years, French 
investment has accounted for about one-quarter of the total capital in Ivorian 
enterprises, and between 55% and 60% of the total stock of foreign investment 
capital. 

Infrastructure 
By developing country standards, Cote d'Ivoire has an outstanding 
infrastructure. There is an excellent network of more than 8,000 miles of paved 
roads; good telecommunications services, including a public data communications 
network; cellular phones and Internet access; two active ports, one of which, 
Abidjan, is the most modern in West Africa; rail links-in the process of being 
upgraded-both within the country and to Burkina Faso; regular air service within 
the region and to and from Europe; and modern real estate developments for 
commercial, industrial, retail, and residential use. Cote d'Ivoire's location 
and easy, reliable connection to neighboring countries makes it a preferred 
platform from which to conduct West African operations. The city of Abidjan is 
one of the most modern and liveable cities in the region. Its school system is 
good by regional standards and includes an excellent international school based 
on a U.S. curriculum and several excellent French-based schools. 

Cote d'Ivoire has stepped up public investment programs after the stagnation of 
the pre-devaluation era. The government's public investment plan accords 
priority to investment in human capital, but it also will provide for 
significant spending on economic infrastructure needed to sustain growth. 
Continued infrastructure development also is expected to occur because of 
private sector activity. In the new environment of government disengagement from 
productive activities and in the wake of recent privatizations, anticipated 
investments in the petroleum, electricity, water, and telecommunications 
sectors, and in part in the transportation sector, will be financed without any 
direct government intervention.

Major Trends and Outlooks 
Since the colonial period, Cote d'Ivoire's economy has been based on the 
production and export of tropical products. Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries 
account for more than one-third of GDP and two-thirds of exports. Cote d'Ivoire 
produces 40% of the world's cocoa crop and is a major exporter of bananas, 
coffee, cotton, palm oil, pineapples, rubber, tropical wood products, and tuna. 
The 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc and accompanying structural adjustment 
measures generally favored the agricultural sector by increasing 
competitiveness. However, reliance on raw cocoa and coffee exports, which 
account for 40% of total exports, exposes the economy to sharp price swings on 
world markets for these commodities. The government encourages export 
diversification and intermediate processing of cocoa beans to reduce this 
exposure. Cocoa beans exports to the U.S. increased sharply in 1996 due to lower 
freight rates. 

The four years following the January 12, 1994, devaluation of the CFA franc have 
seen Cote d'Ivoire return to the rapid economic growth it knew in the 1960s and 
1970s. The spur provided by the devaluation, by increased aid flows, rigorous 
macroeconomic policies, and fortuitous international commodity prices yielded 
strong GDP growth in both 1996 and 1997. In addition to these factors, the long 
period of pre-devaluation stagnation, in which local businesses and potential 
outside investors put off capital expenditure, caused a boom in investment 
following the devaluation. Cote d'Ivoire has also begun to turn the corner on 
its daunting debt problem: first with a generous rescheduling of official 
bilateral debt at the Paris Club in March 1994; more recently, with a tentative 
London Club agreement in November 1996, and the April 1997 decision by the G-7 
countries to include Cote d'Ivoire in the new IMF-World Bank debt forgiveness 
initiative for highly indebted poor countries.

Cote d'Ivoire's recent economic performance has been impressive, particularly in 
1995 and 1996. Real GDP growth was 7% in 1995, 6.8% in 1996, and an estimated 6% 
in 1997. The country has been meeting its IMF targets for growth, inflation, 
government finance, and balance of payments. Traditional commodity exports were 
boosted both by the devaluation (though improved prices in local currency terms 
were only partially passed through to farmers) and by higher world prices for 
cocoa and coffee. At the same time, the devaluation and the generally favorable 
business environment produced growth in nontraditional crops, local processing 
of commodities, and the services sector. 

In 1996 and 1997, inflation continued the downward trend begun after the 
devaluation, when the government kept a tight lid both on salary increases and 
on the size of the public sector work force. Inflation as measured by the 
increase in the consumer price index has fallen sharply, from 1994's post-
devaluation 32.2% to 7.7% in 1995, 3.5% in 1996, and an estimated 5% in 1997. 

Public sector finances are another bright spot: Government revenues are on a 
strongly rising trend since 1993, capped by a 15% increase from 1995 to 1996. 
The stronger revenue picture, when combined with restraint on the spending side, 
has resulted in three years of primary surpluses (i.e., receipts minus 
expenditure, excluding borrowing and debt service). Following a concerted 
government repayment effort, domestic arrears had been virtually eliminated by 
the end of 1996. 

The outlook for the near and medium term in Cote d'Ivoire remains positive. The 
government hopes to attain double-digit real GDP growth, but this appears 
achievable only in a best-case scenario, including continued or enhanced 
investment flows, additional oil or mineral production, and no drop in world 
commodity prices; short of this optimistic scenario, a continuation of 6% or 7% 
growth seems likely for the near term.

FOREIGN RELATIONS 
Throughout the Cold War, Cote 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. Cote 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 Cote d'Ivoire sent a 
medical unit to participate in regional peacekeeping in Liberia, its first 
peacekeeping effort. President Bedie has announced that Cote d'Ivoire will 
expand its involvement in peacekeeping. 

Cote 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 Cote 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 Cote 
d'Ivoire, and the country's currency, the CFA franc, is tied to the French 
franc. 

Cote 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). Cote d'Ivoire also belongs to the European 
Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank; it is an associate 
member of European Union. 

U.S.-IVORIAN RELATIONS 
U.S.-Ivorian relations are friendly and close. The United States is sympathetic 
to Cote d'Ivoire's program of rapid, orderly economic development as well as its 
moderate stance on international issues. Bilateral U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID) funding, with the exception of self-help and democratization 
funds, has been phased out. 

The United States and Cote d'Ivoire maintain an active cultural exchange 
program, through which prominent Ivorian Government officials, media 
representatives, educators, and scholars visit the United States to become 
better acquainted with the American people and to exchange ideas and views with 
their American colleagues. This cooperative effort is furthered through frequent 
visits to Cote d'Ivoire by representatives of U.S. business and educational 
institutions, and by visits of Fulbright-Hays scholars and specialists in 
various fields. 

A modest security assistance program provides professional training for Ivorian 
military officers in the United States. 

Principal U.S. Officials 
Ambassador--Lannon Walker 
Deputy Chief of Mission--Jackson McDonald 
Commercial Counselor--Frederic Gaynor 
Political/Economic Counselor--vacant 
Defense Attache--Col. Gerald Saltness 
Administrative Counselor--vacant 
Consular Affairs Officer--Steven Koutsis 
Public Affairs Officer--Thomas Hart

The U.S. embassy is located at 5 Rue Jesse Owens, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (tel. 
21-09-79, telefax, 22-23-59); mailing address is 01 B.P. 1712, Abidjan 01, Cote 
d'Ivoire. 

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Travel 
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Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on 
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disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively 
short-term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of 
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Free copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular 
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Warnings and Consular Information Sheets also are available on the Consular 
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passports and planning a safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the 
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Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from 
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Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-day a 
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Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for 
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publication number CDC-95-8280) is available from the U.S. Government Printing 
Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs 
regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to travelers also may 
be obtained before your departure from a country's embassy and/or consulates in 
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U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are 
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"Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this publication). This may help 
family members contact you in case of an emergency. 

Further Electronic Information: 
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