President Buhari to visit President Barack Obama

President Buhari at the G7 summit at the Elmau castle in Kruen near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Reuters/Christian Hartmann)

President Buhari at the G7 summit at the Elmau castle in Kruen near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Reuters/Christian Hartmann)

The White House announced on June 25 that:

On Monday, July 20, President Obama will host Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the White House.  The visit will underscore the United States’ longstanding friendship with Nigeria, our commitment to strengthening and expanding our partnership with Nigeria’s new government, and our support for the Nigerian people following their historic democratic elections and peaceful transfer of power.  President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Buhari our many shared priorities including US.-Nigeria cooperation to advance a holistic, regional approach to combating Boko Haram, as well as Nigeria’s efforts to advance important economic and political reforms that will help unlock its full potential as a regional and global leader.  In addition to hosting President Buhari at the White House, the United States will welcome President Buhari’s senior advisors for consultations with U.S. counterparts and other events aimed at building on the strong U.S.-Nigeria relationship.

The two presidents agreed to the visit when they met at the G-7 in Schloss Elmau, Germany. The visit will take place just after Ramadan, which ends July 17.

John Campbell, former United States Ambassador to Nigeria wrote:

There will be much to talk about. Boko Haram carnage continues unabated. President Buhari has publicly said that the Nigerian government is almost out of money, with many federal and state civil servants going unpaid. Nigeria watchers will be interested in whom President Buhari includes on his team. It will likely be an indication of who will be the new president’s close collaborators and advisors. President Obama’s invitation to President Buhari may mitigate criticism that the U.S. president is not visiting Nigeria during his upcoming trip to Ethiopia and Kenya.

This invitation is seen in many quarters as a welcome development, considering the fallouts in 2014 between Nigeria and the United States on issues arising from tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.

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