President Umaru Yar’Adua says Nigeria will start a partnership with the U.S. military’s new Africa Command, AFRICOM.
President Yar’Adua and President Bush spoke to reporters after their meeting at the White House in Washington Thursday.
Yar’Adua said he and President Bush discussed African security issues, including the situations in Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region and the Gulf of Guinea.
He said Nigeria will partner with AFRICOM to assist not only Nigeria but also the African continent achieves peace and security. It was not immediately clear what form the partnership would take.
Yar’Adua has previously stated that he will not allow his country to be used as base for AFRICOM, and also said he is opposed to the U.S. military establishing bases elsewhere in Africa.
The United States is seeking an African headquarters for AFRICOM, which is currently operating out of Stuttgart, Germany.
The United States says AFRICOM will help African countries confront terrorism, natural disasters and other factors that could affect their stability. But several countries, including Libya and South Africa, have expressed concern the command will increase U.S. influence on the continent.