WASHINGTON – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is to meet U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on April 30, the White House said on Sunday.
The meeting comes weeks after Rex Tillerson, then U.S. secretary of state, visited Nigeria and other African countries in March only to be fired after his return to Washington.
Tillerson’s trip was part of attempts to smooth relations after Trump reportedly dismissed some African nations as “shithole countries” in January. Trump later denied making the comment.
“President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
The priorities include “promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region”, she said.
Buhari, a 75-year-old former military ruler who took office in 2015, last week announced that he will seek a second term in elections next year. He flew to Britain for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May shortly after the announcement.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Sandra Maler