US, Nigeria set up working groups on security, economy, corruption

March 31, 2016 05:57


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WASHINGTON - The United States and Nigeria on Wednesday agreed to establish working groups focused on strengthening security cooperation, the economy and tackling corruption after day-long talks at the State Department.

In a joint statement, the countries said the groups would come up with a paper within a month finalizing goals.

Kerry meets Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday on the sidelines of a two-day nuclear security summit in Washington involving leaders from more than 50 countries.

The meetings on Wednesday were launched by Kerry and Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, who both acknowledged security challenges posed by Boko Haram militants in the northeast and neighboring countries, as well as tough economic times caused by a drop in oil prices.

Kerry said the United States was committed to helping Nigeria tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, although he cautioned that security forces had to avoid human rights abuses even as they stepped up the fight against the jihadi group, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

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