Foreign Minister Emma Bonino received the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olugbenga Ayodeji Ashiru, at the Farnesina today, 10 September 2013.
The two ministers discussed measures to combat political-religious terrorism, and anti-piracy measures in the Gulf of Guinea. Minister Bonino expressed her great appreciation of the key role played by Nigeria in safeguarding the stability of the African continent.
Nigeria’s problems relating to security and the protection of religious minorities were also discussed. Minister Bonino asked for Nigeria to pay special attention to the protection of the Christian population’s human rights. She reminded her colleague of our commitment to Nigeria, in the form, for example, of organising training courses for Nigerian security forces and diplomats and financing projects to foster inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue.
The significant and well-established economic links between Italy and Nigeria were also stressed. Minister Bonino made a proposal – accepted immediately by the Nigerians – to hold a “country presentation” to encourage dialogue between the two countries’ business communities, in light of the considerable complementarity between the two economies. Minister Ashiru extended an official invitation to Minister Bonino to visit Nigeria soon.