Monday, 30 April 2018

The White House on Twitter: Today, President Trump Will Welcome President Buhari Of The Federal Republic of Nigeria

President Donald Trump welcomed the first leader from sub-Saharan Africa to the White House on Monday nearly 15 months into his term.

The discussions with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari were likely to centre around security challenges, including the nearly decade-long insurgency by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria's northeast. But the meeting's tricky subtext is Trump's broader view of Africa, including his description of some African nations as "shithole countries" during a private meeting early this year.

Trump denied making the comment, though acknowledged in a tweet he had used "tough" language in the meeting, which was about immigration. He insisted to reporters afterwards that he wasn't a racist.

The crude remark, along with another reported conversation in which Trump mused Nigerians wouldn't want to return to their "huts" if they came to the US, remains the President's most well-known views of Africa, a place he talks about rarely and hasn't visited.
The White House hopes Monday's meeting will help shift those perceptions, at least slightly. The two leaders held talks in the Oval Office before moving to a working lunch. They'll take questions from reporters at a joint news conference in the afternoon.

"We have many things that we do together, as you know, especially on terrorism, terrorism-related," Trump said in the Oval Office before the meeting began. "I look forward to our discussion today, very important, again, especially as it relates to terrorism. That's terrorism here and terrorism all over the world. It's a hotbed, and we're going to be stopping that."
US warns of growing African terror threat
US warns of growing African terror threat

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and a leading crude oil exporter so economic matters will be on the agenda, particularly as China makes major investments across Africa.
But it's the fragile security situation and the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram jihadists that are likely to dominate talks. The violent insurgency has killed thousands and group abductions of schoolgirls have caused international outrage. Neighbouring countries have been drawn into the terror group's attempt to carve out an Islamic state, including Niger, where four American servicemen were killed last year.

Trump is expected to tout the recent sale of military aircraft to Nigeria meant to aid its bid to counter extremists, a move previous administrations refused citing human rights concerns. Buhari, who faces re-election next year, is planning to ask for additional assistance during the talks.

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