June 17, 2024

Top Biden delegation meets with Nigerian, Equatorial Guinean and Mauritanian leaders to strengthen ties with Africa

United States Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer
United States Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer

A high-level White House delegation led by Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer has concluded its first trip to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Mauritania. Finer, who was joined by National Security Council Senior Director for Africa Dana Banks and Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Michael Gonzales, discussed global challenges, including the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, with leaders in the three African nations. The United States has now shared over 200 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine with countries around the world, many of them in Africa.

The White House said the trip underscored the “Biden administration’s commitment to partnering with African nations to solve global challenges and advance shared interests.”

In Nigeria, the U.S. delegation met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyema, and other senior Nigerian officials, and “affirmed the importance of the bilateral relationship and underscored our shared commitment to democratic values,” a White House statement released on Thursday night said.

The two delegations discussed U.S. support for Nigerian efforts to address regional security challenges, including maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Mr. Finer expressed the U.S. commitment to work together to combat climate change, terrorism, and corruption, and support human rights and the rule of law. The delegations discussed the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative, a values-driven, high-standard, and transparent G7 infrastructure partnership. Finally, they agreed to work together to strengthen global health security and end the COVID-19 pandemic, an effort that includes the over 7.5 million vaccine doses donated to Nigeria by the United States to date,” the White House added.

In Equatorial Guinea, Mr. Finer met with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, and other senior officials to discuss ways to enhance maritime security and end the COVID-19 pandemic, while in Mauritania, Mr. Finer met with President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Minister of Defense Hanana Sidi, and other senior Mauritanian officials.

The White House said Finer “expressed U.S. support for Mauritania’s efforts to combat terrorism, address long-standing human rights concerns, combat corruption, and defeat COVID-19.” They also discussed the B3W initiative.

While in Mauritania, Mr. Finer met with the Executive Secretary and the staff of the G5 Sahel, met with alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Unlike the previous U.S. government led by Donald J. Trump, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has increased ties with African nations and has partnered with the continent in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent weeks, the administration has also sought to partner with the continent in the fight against climate change and warned in a report released on Thursday that the devastating impacts of the climate crisis are likely to displace hundreds of millions of people around the world, millions of them in Africa.

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