Egypt seeks stronger security, economic ties with Nigeria
WITH the inauguration of the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari, the government of Egypt yesterday sought better ties with Nigeria in economic relations, conflict prevention and combating terrorism in Africa.
Speaking during an interview with journalists in Abuja, the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said that it was important for both countries to unite against terrorism since they are both directly affected.
While Nigeria had been battling Boko Haram terrorists for six years, the Arab Spring had affected Egypt since 2011, necessitated by activities of Muslim Brotherhood within the country and that of ISIS terrorists in neighbouring Libya.
“We look forward to improved security co-operation and exchange of information. It’s important that personal ties are established between Egypt and Nigeria.
We need to collectively deal with terrorism”, the minister said, adding that President el-Sisi had already invited President Buhari to Cairo for further discussions. Shoukry, who noted that Nigeria and Egypt are two main pillars of Africa, said: “We have common issues that affect the continent. Co-operation to deal with the challenge posed by terrorism is important.
We have to deal with existing conflicts on the continent.” According to him, with a combined population of about 300 million, Nigeria and Egypt should start relating on manufactured goods, aside from oil and gas, which currently forms a large part of their exchange.
On Egypt’s success in battling terrorism, Shoukry added that though there had been progress, the operations were with great care to avoid collateral damage on the civilian population.
He said Egypt had been co-operating with regional and international partners to curb the activities of Muslim Brotherhood within Egypt to restrict the flow of terrorism financing and supply of weaponry.