Obama Hosts Buhari, Calls Nigeria One Of The Most Important Countries In The World

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D63BE553-4D9A-4C43-9024-9C51E94C3418_w640_r1_sU.S. President Barack Obama has met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House to discuss the threat posed by Boko Haram militants and other issues.

Obama called Nigeria one of the most important countries in the world and said its recent election and peaceful transition to a new government is an affirmation of Nigeria’s comment to democracy.

He added he is very concerned by Boko Haram attacks and he believes President Buhari has a clear agenda about defeating the group and rooting out corruption that has held Nigeria’s economic prosperity back.

Obama said he looks forward to discussing how the United States and Nigeria can cooperate on counterterrorism issues.

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The four-day trip is Mr. Buhari’s first to Washington since taking office in May in a rare peaceful transition of power in Nigeria.

The White House said the visit emphasizes U.S. “commitment to strengthening and expanding our partnership with Nigeria’s new government” and supporting its people.

Earlier Monday, Buhari had breakfast with Vice President Joe Biden.  Later in the day, he will meet with West African diplomats, World Bank executives, and members of the U.S. Congress.  He is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday with Nigerians.

The United States and Nigeria appear eager to improve relations.  Nigerian officials had turned down some of the assistance the United States offered to combat Boko Haram under former president Goodluck Jonathan.

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