Buhari for talks with Obama

President Muhammadu Buhari Official resumption at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on MondayCombating the Boko Haram insurgency will take the centre stage when United States President Barack Obama hosts President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on July 20.

Buhari’s first state visit to the White House is on Obama’s invitation.

Both leaders met at the sideline of the G7 Nation’s meeting in Germany earlier this month.

A statement yesterday from the White House said Obama will host Buhari at the White House on July 20 to discuss fighting the Boko Haram militant group, among other issues.

“The visit will underscore the United States’ … commitment to strengthening and expanding our partnership with Nigeria’s new government,” it said.

During the visit, Obama will discuss “a holistic, regional approach to combating Boko Haram” with Buhari.

Advancing economic and political reforms in Nigeria will also be discussed between senior government advisers from both countries, the White House said.

U.S. officials have also said the United States could send more advisers to Nigeria to train its military, and it could help boost the nation’s economy through more investment in its oil and gas sector.

Also yesterday, the U.S. reiterated its continued support for Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

It condemned the recent attacks by the sect, which killed about 40 persons  in Borno State in the last one week.

A statement by John Kirby of the Department of State also urged the government of Nigeria to take steps to secure and govern liberated areas by filling in behind military successes with police and civilian administration.

“We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of recent attacks in Borno State, attacks that resulted in more than 40 deaths.  We condemn in the strongest terms the continued and widespread violence inflicted by Boko Haram on innocent men, women, and children in Nigeria.  Those responsible must be held accountable.

“These latest attacks serve as a reminder that despite progress on the battlefield, Boko Haram remains capable of deadly and destabilising acts of terrorism.  We commend the efforts by the Nigerian military, as well as the militaries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon for the gains they have made fighting Boko Haram.  We encourage the government of Nigeria to take steps to secure and govern liberated areas by filling in behind military successes with police and civilian administration.

“The United States stands with Nigeria in the face of this threat.  We will continue to take steps to increase our support for their efforts,” Kirby said.

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