President Bola Ahmed Tinubu hosted the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.Blinken arrived Nigeria on Tuesday evening for a bilateral meeting as part of his four-nation African tour.

The US Secretary of state Stateis due to have a joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar before his departure later this evening for Lagos where he will meet with the business community on Wednesday.

Apart from Nigeria, Blinken will visit Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, and Angola as he seeks to reinforce the US commitment to stronger relations with democracies in the subregion amid global crises.

He was received at the forecourt of President Tinubu’s office around 6.55pm.

Among top government officials who welcomed him were Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar; Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris and Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake.

According to the US State Department, his visit is part of a bid to forge a united front with key African democracies as crises engulf the world.

In Abidjan, Blinken met Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, before heading to Abuja to see Nigerian President Tinubu.The two West African powers, one Anglophone and one Francophone, have largely shared the US stance on arming Ukraine and, more recently, US support for Israel in its war with Hamas.In 2022, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, and Ivory Coast, as well as Kenya in East Africa, joined the United States in a United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

This is in sharp contrast with another continental power, South Africa, which the US has accused of allowing arms shipments to Russia and which most recently pushed a genocide case against Israel before the International Court of Justice.

Consequently, Blinken will not visit South Africa but he will visit Angola, which played a crucial role in mediating to end unrest in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

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