After meeting with the Sultan of Sokoto on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at Aso Rock on Tuesday to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerian officials.
The topics of security and the Nigerian economy will likely dominate the discussion, according to a U.S. embassy official.
Nigerian-American cooperation has gradually improved since Mr. Buhari took office due to his commitment to fighting corruption. Relations between the two countries had been tense during the Goodluck Jonathan administration after Nigerian officials criticized the U.S. for failing to assist the military in its fight against Boko Haram, while U.S. officials criticized Nigeria for its corruption and human rights abuses.
Mr. Kerry had on Monday lauded Sultan Abubakar of Sokoto and other Northern leaders for promoting religious, ethnic, and political tolerance. Speaking to journalists, Mr. Kerry encouraged Nigerians to tolerate each other’s religious and ethnic differences, stressing that cooperation and coexistence is essential in bringing peace to Nigeria.
“By empowering and engaging citizens, we can build strong, resilient communities that work together to combat terrorism,” the diplomat said.
The Sultan and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal assured Mr. Kerry that the State is committed to promoting peaceful coexistence among its people.
Mr. Kerry’s visit to the Sokoto palace makes him the first U.S. secretary of state to do so.