Obama to Host Buhari Next Month

Written by on June 26, 2015

United States President Barack Obama

United States President Barack Obama

United States President Barack Obama will on July 20, 2015, host Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari for talks to strengthen the relationship between both countries.

Both presidents are also expected to discuss further cooperation for a holistic regional approach to combating the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, and efforts to advance Nigeria’s economic and political reforms to unlock its full potential as a regional and global leader.

A statement released yesterday by the White House on the impending visit, said that the US would also welcome Buhari’s senior advisors for consultations with their US counterparts and hold other events aimed at building on the strong relationship between both countries.

“The visit will underscore the United States’ longstanding friendship with Nigeria, our commitment to strengthening and expanding our partnership with Nigeria’s new government, and our support for the Nigerian people following their historic democratic elections and peaceful transfer of power,” the statement read.

Buhari’s visit to the U.S. will be his fifth overseas trip since he assumed office on May 29. In his first week, he visited Niger and Chad to seek improved cooperation from the leaders of both countries in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.

He subsequently travelled to Germany as a guest of the G7 summit and South Africa for the African Union summit. He is also scheduled to visit Cameroun after the Ramadan season.

Also, the US government has said the latest attacks by Boko Haram in Borno State which claimed over 40 lives is a reminder that despite the progress recorded, the sect remains capable of deadly and destabilising acts of terrorism.

It also condemned the attacks and expressed condolences to families and friends of the victims.

In a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Department of State, Mr. John Kirby, the US also condemned the continued and widespread violence inflicted by Boko Haram on innocent men, women, and children in Nigeria.

Those responsible must be held accountable, it added.

“We commend the efforts by the Nigerian military, as well as the militaries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroun for the gains they have made fighting Boko Haram.  We encourage the government of Nigeria to take steps to secure and govern liberated areas by filling in behind military successes with police and civilian administration,” the State Department said.

“The United States stands with Nigeria in the face of this threat.  We will continue to take steps to increase our support for their efforts,” the statement added.

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Obama to meet Iraq PM, Buhari on G7 summit sidelines – W. House

Written by on June 5, 2015

US President Barack Obama will meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on the sidelines of a weekend Group of Seven summit in Germany, the White House said yesterday.

The meeting will allow Obama to discuss the “situation on the ground and our effort to support Iraqi forces,” senior White House aide Ben Rhodes told reporters in a conference call ahead of Obama’s trip.

The United States is leading an international coalition that is conducting air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, while also helping to train Iraqi forces.

But it suffered a major setback May 17 when IS fighters captured the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, after its defenders fled.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter publicly questioned the Iraqis’ will to fight, and the US strategy has come under scrutiny.

Abadi was invited to meet with the leaders of the world’s top industrialized powers when they meet Sunday and Monday at a chateau south of Munich.

Also invited were several African leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country and its largest economy.

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