Saturday, October 15, 2011

U.S. to Expand Military Co-Operation With Abuja

This Day
15 October 2011

Abuja — The United States of America has indicated interest in expanding military and defence co-operation with Nigeria in order to tackle the emerging security challenges in the country and the West African sub-region.

This was disclosed yesterday in Abuja by the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence in Africa, Amb. Vicki Huddleston when she paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of State (Defence) Erelu Olusola Obada in her office.

Huddleston said she was in the defence ministry because of the meeting President Barrack Obama and President Goodluck Jonathan recently held on a number of issues including security.

She said: "We want to discuss with you on how we can further our co-operation on security. Security is a critical issue for Nigeria. It is a critical issue for West Africa and indeed the whole World.

The top US envoy explained that both countries can partner to develop their skills and contribute to peace in the region, adding that one of the ways the countries can do this is to expand their co-operation on military issues.

In her remarks, Obada said the country was grateful for the support of the US in its effort to deal with the emerging security challenges in addition to so many other areas they have been collaborating with Nigeria.

"We can assure you that we need the collaboration with the United States because of the challenges we are facing in the Gulf of Guinea and also in the waters between Republic of Benin and Nigeria."

The minister also commended the US government for its effort in the training and re-training of Nigeria's military personnel.

"I want to assure you that Nigeria appreciates the efforts of the United States in all these areas and I expect we will be working together for the greater benefits of our countries," Obada said.

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