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10 July 2024, 13:10

Lukashenko meets with Nigeria’s first lady, signals interest in bilateral cooperation

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) – Belarus is very interested in expanding cooperation with Nigeria, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with First Lady of Nigeria Oluremi Tinubu in Minsk on 10 July, BelTA has learned.

“It’s very good that you have come. This will be an interesting and very useful start in our cooperation. I would really like to hope that your visit will be followed by a visit by your country’s president and ministers, which could help give momentum to closer cooperation. We are very interested in your country and I think we will be useful to you. Please convey my best wishes to Mr. Bola Tinubu and tell him that we are ready to host him any time,” the Belarusian leader said.

“We are well-informed about your needs and capabilities. This is very important for us. And we can be of great help to you, the same way you can help us a lot in our development. We are ready to help you grow your manufacturing sector, agriculture and processing industry, most importantly food production. We are also ready to set up joint ventures in your country to produce various types of equipment,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

He assured that Belarus can train specialists for Nigeria’s various needs, and would like to cooperate more closely in education.

“I would ask you to convey to the president of Nigeria our request to arrange a visit of our foreign minister to your country to explore cooperation opportunities. There, in your capital city, at home, you will be able to decide on further contacts between specialists and government members of our countries. The plan to be agreed by our minister and your specialists will be strictly observed, including by me,” the president said.

The head of state also highlighted the importance of expanding contacts in culture and humanitarian matters: “It’s good that you have come to us, you will visit Slavianski Bazaar, see our Slavic culture, including Russian culture. Perhaps next year you will bring a piece of your culture here.”

Oluremi Tinubu thanked the president for the invitation and hospitality and conveyed best regards from her husband and President of Nigeria Bola Tinubu. “This is my first visit to Belarus. And I want to thank you for this very warm welcome. True, I thought it would be a short vacation. Yet, my visit turned out to be packed with events. The meetings that I had were very interesting,” said the first lady.

She particularly mentioned fruitful discussions she had at the Belarusian Women's Union, the Education Ministry, and with Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly Natalya Kochanova.

Reviewing the results of the meeting with Aleksandr Lukashenko in an interview with journalists, Oluremi Tinubu described the Belarusian leader as a person with a big heart who is ready to help the country and friends, which is very important today.

Regarding her busy schedule, the first lady praised the businesslike spirit of the Belarusian side: “Belarusians are very serious people. They are ready to get down to work immediately. Our meetings began as soon as our plane touched down. We appreciate such a no-nonsense approach on the part of Belarusians. We are trying to transform our country, so such an attitude is very important.”

Oluremi Tinubu said that the president of Nigeria understands the importance of maintaining friendly relations and he wanted to get first-hand information. “We don’t know much about Belarus, so it’s important to find out everything on the ground. We have learned a lot. This is a reliable partner in the field of education and agriculture, which is especially important for us. When I return home, I will communicate this information,” the first lady said.
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