US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday opened talks with Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari and vice president yemi osibanjo as part of his multinational Africa tour.
The meeting which took place at the presidential villa was aimed at broadening ties as persistent unrest and human rights concerns prompt calls to revamp the US relationship with Africa’s most populous nation.
Blinken and Osinbajo signed a series of agreements between the US and Nigeria during their meeting.
On the eve of his visit, Blinken reversed one Trump action by removing Nigeria from a US blacklist of nations that violate religious freedom.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama Blinken said the US would work closely with Nigeria to provide support in the areas of coronavirus vaccines, as well as military affairs and trade.
He also said the Nigerian government was working to create and foster greater market access with the US to ease exports of Nigerian agricultural products to the US market.
Blinken arrived in Nigeria from Kenya where he called for African-led solutions to the continent’s crises, including the spiraling war in Ethiopia, and vowed to promote democracy and action against climate change and Covid-19.