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Nigeria agrees to improve bilateral ties

22 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari having a meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at President House.
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ISLAMABAD: President Asif Zardari on Wednesday offered Nigeria to take benefit of Pakistan's expertise in textile to revive its textile and garment industry by entering into joint ventures with Pakistan.

"Pakistan is ready to sign MOUs with Nigeria on education, maritime, oil and gas development, agriculture development, trade and communication for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries," said the President during his meeting with his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Ebele Jonathan here at the Presidency on the sidelines of D-8 Summit.

Those, who were present during the meeting, included from the Nigerian side Ambassador Olubenga Ashiru, Foreign Minister, Minister of Trade Dr Olusegun Aganga, Ambassador Martin Uhonoibhi, Permanent Secretary MOFA and other senior officials.

From Pakistan's side PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Federal Minister Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, Secretary General Salman Faruqui, spokesman to President Senator Farhatullah Babar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and other senior officials were present during the meeting.

Babar, while briefing about the meeting, said that it was held in a cordial atmosphere where the two presidents discussed host of issues ranging from bilateral relations to further exploring and working out ways and means for further strengthening the existing relations.

President Zardari, while welcoming his counterpart to Pakistan, as it is the visit of any President from Nigeria to Pakistan after 30 years, highlighted the friendly and cordial relations between the two countries.

He said that Pakistan was keen to further strengthen its political, economic and commercial ties with Nigeria.

President Zardari said that Pakistan wanted to engage actively with Nigeria, at bilateral and multilateral levels, being an important country in Western Africa and also sharing with Pakistan identical views on regional and global issues.

The president, while noting the existing negligible volume of trade between the two countries, said that the size and potential of the two countries needed to be fully exploited so as to translate it into economic terms.

President Zardari proposed that the two sides might sign a bilateral trade agreement, which would significantly help enhancing trade interaction between the two countries.

He also said that Pakistan was also keen to open its trade mission in Lagos.

The President said that Pakistan could offer courses to Nigeria in science and technology, finance, economics, banking and agriculture.

He said that Nigeria might explore opportunities to benefit from the developed defence industry of Pakistan.

The Nigerian President thanked the President for the hospitality extended to him and his delegation by Pakistan.

He also appreciated the elaborate arrangements made by Pakistan for the D-8 Summit.

President Jonathan also expressed his country's keen desire to further strengthen its multifaceted relations with Pakistan and to further cement trade and economic ties with the country as to take advantage of the available opportunities.

End.

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