Margherita Boniver, Minister Terzi’s Special Envoy for Humanitarian Emergencies, is heading for Nigeria on a two-day mission. She will be meeting members of the Nigerian Government, religious leaders from the Muslim, Roman Catholic and Protestant communities, and representatives of civil society.
Speaking on behalf of Minister Terzi, the Hon. Boniver will express Italy’s support for the Nigerian Government in fighting religious extremism and any form of intolerance. She will reiterate our country’s strong concerns over the wave of terrorist attacks, which have cost the lives of hundreds of innocent worshippers. The Envoy will illustrate to the Nigerian authorities the Italian initiative for an action plan to protect religious freedom. The plan, which envisages prevention measures flanked by a strategy to combat extremism, was presented by Minister Terzi at the European Union’s latest Foreign Affairs Council and won support from his colleagues.
The Hon. Boniver’s mission should be set in a framework of excellent bilateral relations. Italy views Nigeria as a key partner not just at the bilateral level but also as a decisive actor for regional equilibria. It is partly in the light of Nigeria’s role West Africa that in recent months our country has financed numerous training courses here in Italy for Nigerian officials in the international relations and domestic security sectors. The courses have been attended by diplomats, border guards, customs officials and police officers.