HR/VP Federica Mogherini and Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama met in Brussels on 15 March to hold the 6th Nigeria-EU ministerial dialogue. The Nigerian Minister of Interior and the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment participated in the dialogue. Meetings were also held between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the EU Political and Security Committee, and the Minister of State for Trade and the EU Commissioner Malmström. The Minister of Interior visited the ECHO Emergency Response Coordination Center and held talks with the EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator De Kerchove and the EEAS Deputy Secretary General, Pedro Serrano.
The ministerial dialogue is a milestone in deepening the EU-Nigeria partnership. It provided the opportunity to discuss a broad range of topics.
On security, the EU welcomed the progress made by the Nigerian armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram. Both parties stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach, including humanitarian aid, reconstruction, socio-economic development and respect of human rights by security forces. Nigeria took note of the substantial humanitarian aid provided by the EU in support of the affected population. It was agreed to take steps to expand the cooperation in countering terrorism and violent extremism.
With respect to migration, the discussions focused on the implementation of the Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility and the Action Plan of the Valletta Summit on migration. Cooperation will address irregular migration, including return and readmission, but also possible windows of opportunity provided by well-managed legal migration.
The situation in West Africa and the wider Gulf of Guinea was also on the agenda, including the situation in the Sahel and spill-over effects of the continued crisis in Libya. HR/VP Federica Mogherini recognised the key role Nigeria is playing in the region and beyond with regard to peace and security, also in its capacity as a member of the AU's Peace and Security Council. Burundi was addressed as one of the urgent situations to focus engagement on.
HR/VP Mogherini commended the steps taken by the new Nigerian administration in fighting corruption and assured that the EU would continue to assist through capacity building activities for the Nigerian anti-corruption agencies and their participation in international initiatives.
HR/VP Mogherini and Minister Onyeama reiterated their commitment to a long-term trade and investment partnership, including the organisation of the fifth edition of the EU-Nigeria Business Forum this year.