from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – THE United States is committed to ensuring partnerships forged with Nigeria are based on mutual interests and respect, Antony Blinken, US Deputy Secretary of State, has said.
“It (partnership) is grounded in the proposition that our relationship is defined not by what the United States can do for Nigeria, but rather what the United States can do with Nigeria,” he said in Abuja.
Blinken is Nigeria to prepare President Muhammadu Buhari’s upcoming visit to the US.
“We look forward to welcoming President Buhari to Washington in just a week and a half as we continue to deepen a relationship that reflects the enduring commitment of the United States to Nigeria and its people,” he said.
“In a practical sense, our presence here this week is to help prepare for President Buhari’s visit to Washington on July 20. But it also reflects the commitment of President Obama and the United States to strengthening the partnership between the United States and Nigeria and to advance a more secure, prosperous, and peaceful future for all of Nigeria’s citizens.”
Blinken, joined in Abuja by the Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Jim Entwistle, and the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said together with senior colleagues from the Department of Defense, Treasury Department and the US Agency for International Development, held productive series of meetings with Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo and the permanent secretaries of the departments, State governors and with a broad cross section of civil society.
The meeting with Buhari and Osinbajo focused on the President’s priorities for Nigeria, his plans to address them and how the United States could help.
“In particular, we discussed practical ways to strengthen security which is threatened by Boko Haram’s horrific acts of terror and violence to develop the economy, to combat corruption and to make government more effective and transparent,” Blinken added.
He meanwhile hailed Nigeria’s historic elections and peaceful transfer of power saying they sent a powerful message to the region, to the continent and indeed to the world that leaders were accountable to their people.
“We are proud to stand alongside the new government as it works to turn the promise of this moment into real progress for all the citizens of Nigeria,” said Blinken.
– CAJ News