Buhari Meets President of European Council As EU Pledges Support for Okonjo-Iweala

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European Council

President Muhammadu Buhari has held a video conference with President of the European Council, Charles Michel,  during which the latter reiterated Europe’s support for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

This was coming as Okonjo-Iweala expressed joy over the progress so far, explaining her determination to move on to the next step on November 9 despite unexpected hiccups.

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It would be recalled that the United States of America has expressly supported South Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee as the next WTO Director-General, saying “WTO is badly in need of major reform. It must be led by someone with real, hands-on experience in the field.”

But, leading Nigeria’s charge for Okonjo-Iweala for her to emerge as the first black and female WTO Director-General, Buhari thanked the European Council for its support for the former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance.

“Also discussed during the conference were issues bordering on debt relief for Africa, EU-African relations and recharge of the Lake Chad, which has currently shrunk to less than one-third of its usual size, and throwing about 130 million people who depend on the Lake into dire straits.

“Recharge of the Lake Chad is an issue the Nigerian President had vigorously canvassed at diverse global fora in recent time,” said a statement by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Buhari also expressed appreciation to Michel for expected positive developments on the issues.

Meanwhile, Okonjo-Iweala said he’s humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus.

According to her, “Happy for the success and continued progress of our WTO Director-General bid.

“Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members and most likely to attract consensus.

“We move on to the next step on November 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going!”

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