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Clinton in secret talks with Nigeria's president, assures of U.S. support

08-10-2012 04:34 BJT

ABUJA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- America's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday held secret talks with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and thereafter assured him of her country's support for the west African nation.

Clinton, who was accompanied by officials of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria and some diplomats, arrived the Presidential Villa at exactly 3:54 p.m. local time, had various closed-door meetings with Jonathan and the country's security chiefs for over two hours.

"You know how committed United States and the Obama administration is to our partnership with your country. We consider it absolutely vital to our Bi-national commission which, as you have mentioned, has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on full range of issues. We are working on economic matters, the improvement of productivity in agriculture, education and health, security, diversification of your economy and so much more. We intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts," she said after holding talks with the president.

She said America wants to work with the Nigerian government side by side, especially at this crucial time of taking tough decisions that can aid development.

Clinton said the ECOWAS country was making good anti-corruption reforms and that the United States would continue to support every commitment of the Nigerian government in that area.

Her visit to Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and a major supplier of U.S. oil imports, comes with the country's president under growing pressure to stop the violence in the northern and central regions of the country. The latest was the massacre Monday night of members of a Deeper Life Church based in north central Kogi State.

Before her visit to Nigeria, expectations were high in the country that she would renew the United States' offers of assistance and help to the Nigerians, especially in tackling insecurity which seemed to have become a hard nut to crack by the government.

On his own part, Jonathan commended the U.S. government for their support over the years, while specially thanking the secretary of state for reassuring the west African nation of her country's support.

"Within this period of being Secretary of State, she has raised the relationship between Nigeria and America to a very high level that we have never reached for quite some time by personally chairing the Bi-national commission and we have discussed various things including security, economy and so on and so forth. She has been very supportive," he said.

The U.S. top official had been on an African tour since July 31, having already visited Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa. She is also expected to briefly visit Republique du Benin and Ghana, where she will grace the final burial of the late president John Atta Mills.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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