President Bola Tinubu has received an invitation to meet his American counterpart, Joe Biden for talks on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 78), happening from September 12-30, 2023.
According to a Saturday statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the invitation was made known by U.S. Presidential Envoy & Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee, who met the Nigerian president.
“President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you on the sidelines of UNGA, and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership,” the U.S. Special Envoy was quoted to have said.
Ngelale said that Tinubu accepted the invitation to meet the U.S. President, noting that the work of perfecting democracy is never done, even in developed democracies, as seen recently in America, as well as other emerging democracies in the world.
Meanwhile, Tinubu advised the US Special Envoy to ensure that U.S. policy is intentionally collaborative with independent African democracies at a time when they are under assault by anti-democratic forces within and outside of the continent.
The president noted that American-backed development finance and multilateral institutions, which were designed to support war-torn Europe after World War II, require swift and comprehensive reform to meet the developmental requirements of younger democracies in Africa, which operate in authoritarian-crowded environments, such that the legitimate yearnings of Africans would no longer be manipulated to serve the narrow aims of self-seeking demagogues through unconstitutional takeovers of power.
“Yes, the private sector will lead the way within an enabling environment we create for them, but the U.S. The government must be innovative in its thinking and systematically create incentives for the U.S. industrial investment in Nigeria. Under my leadership, Nigeria stands ready to address their specific regulatory, tax, and environmental concerns. I am determined to create prosperity for all Nigerian families,” the president declared.
The Nigerian leader affirmed that the crisis in Niger Republic would not deter him from concluding his economic reform programme successfully for the benefit of Nigerians and that he takes a queue from no nation, but will only advance the interest of the Nigerian state in his approach toward ECOWAS’ handling of the regional standoff.
“We are deep in our attempts to peacefully settle the issue in Niger by leveraging on our diplomatic tools. I continue to hold ECOWAS back, despite its readiness for all options, in order to exhaust all other remedial mechanisms. War is not ideal for my economic reforms, nor for the region, but the defence of democracy is sacrosanct. The ECOWAS consensus is that we will not allow anyone to insincerely buy time,” the ECOWAS Chairman affirmed.
Pledging its support for the position of ECOWAS, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy expressed the high regard the U.S. Administration has for the leadership of the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Bola Tinubu, and extended an exclusive invitation from U.S. President Joe Biden to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to advance discussions further in late September.
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