The United States has vowed to strengthen ties with Nigeria and other African countries, saying it does not want to limit its partnership with other countries.
“We want to give you a vote,” said US Secretary of State Anthony Blincon.
Blinkon made the remarks on Friday in protest of Nigeria’s multi-billion dollar loan deal with China and other financial institutions and Sino-Nigeria agreements with the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.
However, in a speech to the regional bloc, the top US official highlighted five common issues between the United States and Africa.
These include global health, climate change, inclusive economic growth, democracy and peace and security.
He said, “Now, I come to Africa and I do not know if I will be the first US Secretary of State to make a unique and better contribution. Too often, African countries are viewed as small partners rather than equal.
“Often, we ask our partners to support and defend a global system that does not fully reflect their interests and aspirations. We, on the other hand, criticize the tragic legacy of centuries of colonialism, slavery, and exploitation.
“I also know that many countries in the region are wary of the ropes that come with greater integration, and they are forced to choose between countries in the world where there is strong competition between major powers.”
“I want to make it clear that the United States does not want to limit its relations with other countries. We want to strengthen your partnership with us. We do not want you to be selective. We want to give you choices. We can work together to provide real benefits to our people.
“The United States is doing well in its commitment to delivering covac vaccines to the world,” he said.
He also said that the United States supports anti-corruption and transparency measures, so leaders and citizens can assess the value of agreements reached on their behalf.
“International infrastructure agreements are often vague, binding; they impose unbearable debt on countries; they are destructive to the environment; they do not always benefit the people who live there. We do things differently,” he said.
Blingon called on the government to address the root causes of the conflict, noting that “not all or all armed forces can be resolved.”
He added: “Attempts to curb extremism have sometimes resulted in human rights violations, contributions to grievances, and negative cycles of violence.
“We urge governments to work together to ensure that justice, security and the rule of law are upheld, as well as accountability for critical violations of public trust.”
“If we work together to expand economic opportunities, we think we can achieve better results in the face of peace, especially for young people and others who may have no choice but to commit crimes.”
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