The foreign affairs minister of Nigeria, Geoffrey Onyeama, is on his first visit to Venezuela. On Friday, August 5, he met with Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Carlos Faría and discussed various issues in order to draw up a strategic working agenda between the two countries.
Faría expressed that he was honored to host the Nigerian foreign minister and his delegation in Venezuela for an event that has been a year in the planning.
“It is a historic meeting for our peoples and governments because in 57 years of history, the years that we have had diplomatic relations, this is the first time that we have had this opportunity to meet with your Excellency and delegation to work on issues in which both sides have shown enormous interest,” the Venezuelan foreign minister told his Nigerian counterpart.
Venezuela and Nigeria, said Faría, are two countries that are “very similar for many reasons, because of their oil and gas production, and because of their people who are warriors. Both were colonies and have won their independence, and this must be valued when setting the guidelines for the relationship.”
He added that the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, sent affectionate greetings to Nigerian Foreign Minister Onyeama and his delegation. He informed Onyeama that President Maduro is interested in holding a meeting with him because of Nigeria’s approach to its relations with Venezuela and the nation’s position in defending the causes of the Bolivarian Revolution.
“Nigeria is very important,” Faría said. “It is the largest economy of the African continent, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC], and a major gas producer.”
— Cancillería Venezuela 🇻🇪 (@CancilleriaVE) August 5, 2022
The First Joint Commission between Venezuela and Nigeria to expand the bilateral ties and establish a roadmap for cooperation was inaugurated by the two foreign ministers.
The information was released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Venezuela through a press release, which reported that the first meeting of the commission was held at the headquarters of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry in Caracas.
Venezuela and Nigeria strengthen cooperation
This Joint Commission is expected to consolidate spaces for cooperation, said Faría, and he added that such spaces are mainly focused on “a route between our capitals, which we see as having unparalleled comparative advantages.”
He added that “connectivity with other countries is given by the conditions of both countries, which is why we are working on this matter.”
— Cancillería Venezuela 🇻🇪 (@CancilleriaVE) August 5, 2022
“We will have two days of intense work and discussion between the delegations, and we hope to reach important agreements that will provide us the possibility of designing a roadmap that will serve as an occasion for future meetings,” Faría stated.
He highlighted Nigeria’s historic role in South America and Africa, which “we must strengthen through mechanisms to reactivate agreements and meetings, to make and exert influence on the creation of a multipolar world.”
He also said that this meeting is important as an example for other nations in the search for a multicentric and pluripolar world.
“We welcome you all and hope that we can have a very productive first Venezuela-Nigeria Joint Commission,” he reiterated.
Venezuela-Nigeria relations: Roadmap for the future
Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama explained the need to consolidate the roadmap of South-South cooperation and brotherly ties.
He started his speech with warm greetings to the people and government of Venezuela and expressed his gratitude for the “hospitality that we have received since our arrival in this beautiful city of Caracas.”
“This is my first visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and to Caracas, and I am impressed by what I have seen so far and touched by the way the people have shown their warmth,” Onyeama added.
“This is an event that we should have organized a long time ago, but things are better late than never,” he said.
“Nigeria and Venezuela share common situations and have excellent relations for many years, our trajectories have been similar and we share a lot of things in terms of demographics, so we feel very close to this country,” Onyeama said.
He expressed that both countries have “similarities in economic activities and we have faced common challenges, so this commission is taking place at a time—for both countries and for both peoples—when there is a set of global challenges, because the world is at a crossroads.”
In this sense, he stressed that “it is a moment for our countries to join forces and design a roadmap for the future and play a fundamental role in stabilizing the global situation, taking multilateralism as a premise.”
For the Nigerian foreign minister, “the multilateral system is the anchor for a more prosperous and peaceful world. We have seen the challenges in the global financial system, which today is paralyzed, and countries are resorting to protectionism. There is a need for change.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tragedy and a challenge for the global community,” he added. “Unfortunately, we have seen the ugly face of nationalism, the nationalism of vaccines, and here global solidarity is important. So it was evident how some countries did not show solidarity, but I highlight the initiative of our countries to rely on technologies for public health.”
“Peace and security are pillars for global peace, and once again our two countries are supporting and making a contribution to the global architecture for peace and security,” he stated.
Regarding the Joint Commission, Onyeama emphasized that “this commission comes at a special time and will give us the opportunity to ease and align our positions and make a difference in the global community as it is perceived today.”
“Nigeria strongly supports the people and government of Venezuela. We believe that they will achieve victory and prosperity,” he concluded.
The Venezuela-Nigeria Joint Commission includes working groups in the political and diplomatic fields on issues related to science and technology, agriculture, energy, mining, transport, culture, oil and gas, migration issues, education, and tourism, among others.
The 21 common projects currently being discussed by the two countries cover areas such as communication and information, defense, the fight against money laundering, agriculture, air services, aeronautical cooperation, recognition of diplomas, trade, tourism, etc.
With the installation of the Venezuela-Nigeria Joint Commission, the two countries will continue to strengthen their political, geostrategic and cooperation ties for the benefit of their peoples.
Venezuela and Nigeria have maintained diplomatic relations since 16 March 1965, and to date have signed 11 agreements. Currently, there are 21 more projects under discussion.
(Últimas Noticias) by Janna Corredor
Translation: Orinoco Tribune