UK, Nigeria pledge to continue strong partnership

Nigeria’s president met with British prime minister in London as Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting kicked off

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – The leaders of Nigeria and the UK met Monday in London to discuss bilateral relations.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed that the UK and Nigeria were “strong and enduring partners” and would continue to champion their shared values of democracy, including the fight against corruption, the British government said in a statement.

Buhari and May also agreed that their defense and security cooperation was “close and longstanding,” particularly on issues of regional security, where the two countries work together against the Boko Haram and Daesh terrorist organizations in West Africa, including through a new £1 million package of counter-IED equipment to protect troops and civilians in Nigeria.

The meeting was held at government offices in London, where leaders of Commonwealth states are attending a conference.

May said during the meeting “she was saddened so many girls had been affected by the security situation in Nigeria and that the thoughts of the British people were with the girls and their families”.

Congratulating Buhari on leading a successful business reform agenda in Nigeria, May also said “as the UK leaves the EU, our bilateral trade and investment relationship would continue to go from strength to strength”.

The two leaders also talked about the importance of tackling climate change and of fighting the scourge of modern slavery as well as the situations in Salisbury and Syria.

They agreed “on the vital importance of upholding international norms against the use of chemical weapons,” the statement added.

May is expected to deliver a speech at the Commonwealth conference Tuesday and meet other heads of state throughout the week.

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