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Transcript: PM and President Jonathan Press Conference

PM: "it's great to welcome you here for the Somalia conference, where Nigeria is one of the powerhouses of Africa"

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Prime Minister and President Jonathan of Nigeria have given a press conference at 10 Downing Street ahead of the Somali conference.

Prime Minister

Well, it’s a huge pleasure and honour to welcome President Jonathan to the United Kingdom and to Number 10 Downing Street.  President Jonathan and I have been working together over the last year, over the last 18 months, on a range of issues.  I hugely enjoyed my visit to Nigeria to see just the incredible economic dynamism and progress in your country.

We have a packed agenda of issues to discuss, issues of common interest.

There’s clearly the issue of fighting terrorism, and the problems that you face in your country is the problems we face in this country, so the shared agenda of tackling security and terrorism.  We also have a very strong shared agenda in terms of trade and economic development, where there is a real opportunity for strong partnership between Britain and Nigeria.  Also, it’s great to welcome you here for the Somalia conference, where Nigeria is one of the powerhouses of Africa; it’s great to have your engagement on this vital issue for the continent of Africa and for the peace of the world.  There are also some important bilateral issues like the prisoner transfer agreement that we hope to sign over time with Nigeria, and looking forward to discussing all of those issues with you, and I’m sure more besides.  But, President Jonathan, a very warm welcome to the UK. 

President Jonathan

Thank you, thank you. Very good. Well then friends and families of this country, I would really thank you for inviting me here to participate in the Somali conference.  It’s quite critical, of course, considering even the issues of terrorism that Nigeria also faces now.

But for us, Nigeria and Great Britain, our relationship is very solid.

In this past year that you’ve been here it has been quite warm, and I have to thank you on behalf of my country for all that you will do for Africa and your commitment to continue that level of assistance and interaction with Nigeria. 

But like you said, David, there are a number of areas of common interest: the area of trade, you have been quite passionate and we are also quite passionate; the area of the prison issues; and of course there is the issue of terrorism.  I know presently we have some European, three European citizens that have been kidnapped within Nigeria, and we have been working together and working very hard to make sure that we get these people out.  I believe that within the shortest possible time we will be able to get them out as they were quite, getting quite close to that. 

For this programme we were quite happy.  We had a very brief interactive session, but I plan for a more robust visit - that I will be able to look at all those areas that we need to strengthen: the bilateral talks between the two countries, a joint commission, that most of these things that are quite dear to the two nations are taken care of.  Thank you. 

Prime Minister Thank you very much.

Published 23 February 2012