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May 27, 2022

ForMin Aurescu, meeting with Nigerian counterpart Onyeama: Romania is fully committed to developing relations with the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Romania is fully committed to developing relations with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu said, on Friday, mentioning that he also discussed with his counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is visiting Bucharest, about the possibility of importing oil and gas from the African country.

The heads of the Romanian and Nigerian diplomacy signed a memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries.

“The Minister’s visit to Romania represents a first in our recent bilateral history, because it’s for the first time in the past 30 years that a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria is visiting Romania. We have, now, an excellent opportunity to relaunch and consolidate friendly relations between our countries, traditional relations of friendship consolidated over time, in a moment in which cooperation at the international level to overcome regional and global challenges is more stringent than ever. Today, we had the opportunity to sign together the memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries which allows us to better organize our interaction and thus stimulate better, more efficiently the bilateral cooperation in all domains of common interest,” Aurescu told a joint press conference held together with his Nigerian counterpart.

According to Aurescu, consultations were “very consistent, substantive, on very many dimensions of the bilateral relation, in an atmosphere of openness and friendship.”

“Romania is fully committed to developing relations with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We discussed about the boosting of our bilateral relations, with regard to political, economic dialogue, as well as to sectoral dialogue and we noted our joint, concrete and real interest in diversifying cooperation in many domains: from education, culture and inter-human contact, to economy, including the defence industry, security, including cybersecurity, IT and digitization, energy, agriculture, as well as in the consular domain,” added Minister Aurescu.

The Romanian official mentioned that there is increased potential in regard to the export of agricultural products from Romania to Nigeria, including through the facilitation of exports from Ukraine. The discussions also focused on facilitating exports of animal origin from our country for which the necessary certificates must be obtained from the Nigerian authorities.

At the same time, minister Aurescu said, the parties convened to reactivate the Joint bilateral economic committee, as a mechanism of consultation between Governments and will lead to the development of economic relations.

“There are very many opportunities which must be transformed into reality, given the existing potential, but also the fact that Nigeria is presently the largest economy of Africa, with important natural resources, including the most important oil resources in Africa, Nigeria being 8th in the world in this chapter. Otherwise, we discussed about the possibility to import petrol and gas from Nigeria,” Bogdan Aurescu explained.

He emphasized that he encouraged the increase in the number of Nigerian youths who take university courses in Romania, mentioning that, in the past five years, over 1,400 youths from the African state came to study in our country.

“We also discussed about the solutions offered by the Romanian authorities to young students who wish to continue their studies after having to leave Ukraine against the backdrop of the war in the neighboring country,” Aurescu indicated.

The Romanian minister mentioned that the meeting also approached topics regarding recent regional developments in Eastern Europe and Sub-saharan Africa, as well as the situation regarding the war in Ukraine.

“We presented our values on the topic of the war in the neighboring country, including from the perspective of the impact on food security and energy security at the global level and we resumed the condemnation in the firmest terms of the illegal aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Furthermore, we emphasized the support that Romania has granted to Ukrainian refugees, but also for the repatriation of citizens of other countries, including citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, over 1,160 persons from Nigeria, who lived or studied in Ukraine,” said Bogdan Aurescu.


Nigerian Foreign Minister: We want to have stronger relationship with Romania


Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama, declared on Friday that his country wants “a stronger relationship” with Romania and the revitalization of the joint economic commission between the two countries.

We want to have a stronger relationship with Romania. Romania is an important player in global affairs and a country with which we feel we can develop very good relations and for the benefit of both parties. We already have a framework – a mixed economic commission – and we would like to revitalize it. We have not been active for a number of years. One of my reasons here is to re-establish this relationship and relaunch some initiatives. We have a very good framework for cooperation between our countries and trade is very important. Nigeria is a country where we focus perhaps too much on one sector – oil and gas. It is a very precious commodity today, but we want to diversify. For us as a Government it has been a priority and we want to diversify goods and trade, said the Nigerian Foreign Minister, after the meeting with the Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu.

Geoffrey Onyeama pointed out that there is a growing interest in the Romanian business environment for Nigeria.

It is a very welcome thing on our part, because we want to promote foreign investment in Nigeria, a very attractive place for business. We hope to attract more and more Romanian businesses. Nigeria is one-fifth of Africa, with a population of 200 million people. A very useful market and I believe that the Romanian business coming to Nigeria will not only have a Nigerian market, but also a bigger market for the entire African market. We have a young population, very skilled in technology, said the Nigerian Foreign Minister.

He stressed that Romania and Nigeria have excellent bilateral relations and appreciated the Romanian educational institutions where Nigerian students study.

We appreciate the solidarity and generosity of Romanians and the Romanian Government towards Nigerian students. We have 5,000 students in Ukraine and due to the crisis there many of them left, some of them went through Romania, so we greatly appreciate the warmth, generosity and hospitality with which you also treated the efforts made by the Romanian educational institutions to absorb some of these students so that they can continue their studies, said the Nigerian official, who also appreciated Romania’s efforts in managing the flow of Ukrainian refugees .

Discussions also focused on security and climate change. In this context, the Nigerian official stated that Nigeria wants to prioritize renewable energy.

Clearly, Romania is a partner, a country with which we want to work closely together in all these areas, said Geoffrey Onyeama.

The Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister and his Nigerian counterpart have concluded a memorandum of understanding in the field of diplomatic relations.

We are working together at the consular level to facilitate person-to-person cooperation between our countries, the Nigerian official said.


Compiled from Agerpres

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