Blinken arrives Abuja, meets with Tinubu for bilateral talks

President Bola Tinubu receives US Secretary of State, Antony Blinklen during his visit to Nigeria's presidential Villa Abuja on Tuesday. Credit: State House.

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has arrived at the Presidential Villa for an official visit to President Bola Tinubu.

The Secretary of State is in Nigeria as part of his tour to the West African sub-region.

He had stopped over at Cape Verde and Ivory Coast before arriving in Nigeria and is expected to leave for Angola from here.

On hand to receive him with President Tinubu were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar; the Minister of Information, Mohammed Yusuf, and other top government officials.

After meeting with the President, Blinken is scheduled to visit Lagos for bilateral talks.

Earlier, the spokesperson of the US Department of State, Matthew Miller, announced Blinken’s planned visit to Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Angola from January 21 to 26.

Miller said the visit is aimed at highlighting the progression of the United States’ relationship with the continent after the US–Africa leaders summit in 2022.

“Throughout the trip, the secretary will highlight how the United States has accelerated the US-Africa partnership since the US-Africa Leaders Summit, including in areas such as climate, food, and health security,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“He will also emphasize our future-focused economic partnership, and how the United States is investing in infrastructure in Africa to boost two-way trade, create jobs at home and on the continent, and help Africa compete in the global marketplace.”

According to Miller, the visit is also expected to foster the U.S. partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address regional challenges and de-escalate tensions in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

During his visit to Ivory Coast, the football-loving, French-speaking top US diplomat watched a critical match Monday night in Abidjan between the hosts and Equatorial Guinea, joining Ivory Coast’s political top brass in a VIP box.