Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Buhari receives U.S. secretary of state at Aso Rock

Buhari receives U.S. secretary of state at Aso Rock

The United States has agreed to sell Nigeria 12 Super Tucano A-29 ground attack aircraft in a $593 million deal, which the country's foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama said on Monday would be a "game-changer".

A key mission for Tillerson will be to ensure sustained Chadian cooperation, while also easing its displeasure for being included last September on the visa-ban list.

Tillerson said Chad had made important steps to strengthen control over its security and passports.

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"We had a very good trip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the State Department late a year ago... and we had a very good exchange and many, many important positive steps have been taken by the government of Chad to strengthen the control over its own passports, to strengthen the information-sharing", he said.

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A news Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report published this morning by News Express had said: "When Tillerson meets Buhari, both men are expected to discuss counter terrorism efforts and humanitarian issues in Nigeria's Northeast and the Lake Chad basin". Chad, with its long border with Libya and proximity to Nigeria and Mali, is particularly affected by the threat of instability and extremism in the region.

Tillerson said he was concerned about the presence of Islamic State-allied militants in West Africa. S. support for the G5 Sahel multinational force, for which Washington pledged financial support.

Yet earlier this month, the Trump administration quietly lifted the USA ban on importing African elephant trophies, to the dismay of environmental groups who said it sends precisely the wrong message.

The United States is developing mechanisms in the form of 'Public Private Partnerships (PPP)' for infrastructure development as alternatives to Chinese loans for African nations, an American official said Monday. Homeland Security has insisted nothing can be done until the review of Chad's progress is complete.

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