Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke yesterday with his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The two ministers applauded the high caliber of the relationship between France and Nigeria, an important partner for France in Africa. The economic relationship between our two countries has in particular grown stronger, especially via the launch of the France-Nigeria Business Council, as evidenced by French Development Agency projects relating to water access, energy, mass transit and road infrastructure.
Mr. Le Drian and his counterpart discussed regional policy issues, especially the troubling situation in Mali, as well as the security challenges facing Nigeria and its neighbors. Their discussion also covered the fight against armed terrorist groups in the Lake Chad region. In that regard, Mr. Le Drian reaffirmed France’s support for the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram.
The Minister underscored France’s determination to contribute to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, both on a bilateral basis and through the EU, especially by stepping up the Coordinated Maritime Presences project, which will be one of the priorities of the French EU presidency.