Nigerian and US presidents discuss African regional issues

May 05, 2005 02:00 AM

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo met with US President George Bush to discuss African regional issues, including oil production and the situation in Sudan’s Darfur region, said the White House.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush would raise the issue of oil with the Nigerian leader, whose country is the leading oil producing nation in Africa. But the White House stopped short of saying whether Bush would ask Obasanjo to increase oil production in his country.
"In terms of the issue of oil, Nigeria is one of many producing nations around the world, and so, yes," the United States will talk oil with Obasanjo, said McClellan. "We do stay in contact with producing nations and we will continue to do so to make sure that there are abundant and affordable supplies of energy," he said.

Bush, who recently met with Saudi Crown Price Abdullah to discuss increasing oil production, has said that the high cost of gas has affected the American consumer. In addition the president suffers from sliding approval ratings due to the cost of gas, which at the national average is well over two dollars a gallon at the pump.
On other key issues, Bush and Obasanjo discussed the violence in Darfur and the role of the African Union, which the Nigerian president is also chairman of, in supplying troops to quell the unrest.
"The violence must end in Darfur," said McClellan.

The United States has long called on the government of Sudan to negotiate peace in Darfur, but has not offered to supply US troops in the country. Obasanjo also met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice where they talked about many bilateral issues, said the State Department.
"As you know, President Obasanjo is one of our key partners in Africa, especially given that he is now the chair of the African Union," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. The United States fully supports the efforts of the African Union in Darfur and Rice has discussed with NATO and European allies how they can support thetroops there better, said Boucher.

Source: KUNA
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