Press Statement with Foreign Minister Onyeama

Antony J. Blinken
Deputy Secretary of State
Abuja, Nigeria
May 13, 2016

Minister, thank you very much for your very warm words and your gracious hospitality.

As you mentioned, I had the opportunity to be here just after President Buhari’s election to work, in particular, on his visit to the White House to see President Obama. I have to say that in the space of a year, certainly from our perspective in the United States, it is fair to say that the relationship with Nigeria, the cooperation between us, has grown stronger and stronger.

The evidence of that can of course be seen in the President’s visit to Washington, which was a significant success. The work that we were able to do together with Secretary Kerry on the re-inauguration of the binational commission in Washington some weeks ago. The Secretary’s meeting yesterday in London with President Buhari. And now Nigeria hosting this vital regional security conference I think is testimony, both to our own relationship growing stronger and deeper, but also importantly to Nigeria’s leadership in the region and on critical global issues such as the fight against corruption.

So it is a great pleasure to be here and to continue the great work we have been doing together, to deepen it, and to look very hard at the practical work that needs to be done. I think we have a very strong agenda ahead of us, both in terms of our bilateral work and then tomorrow at the security summit.

Thank you again for welcoming us. It is great to be here with colleagues including the Assistant Secretary who is so well-known to you. Also Cathy Byrne from the White House, and other colleagues here from the White House. Thank you.