WTO: Buhari meets European Council President over Okonjo-Iweala

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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday held a virtual meeting with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, over the candidature of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s former finance minister, is the leading candidate for the position. But her candidature is being opposed by the U.S. which is supporting her South Korean opponent.

Tontrends reported that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala already secured the backing of most countries including blocs like the European Union and the African Union.

The U.S. is the one blocking Mrs Okonjo-Iweala from being adopted as a consensus winner of the election, with an announcement on the winner next month.

According to a Friday evening statement by Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari’s spokesman, Mr Michel reiterated Europe’s support for Mrs Okonjo-Iweala.

Read the full statement by Mr Adesina below.

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

OKONJO-IWEALA: PRESIDENT BUHARI IN VIDEO CONFERENCE WITH PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday held a video conference with Mr Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during which the latter reiterated Europe’s support for Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The President is leading Nigeria’s charge for Okonjo-Iweala, the country’s former Minister of Finance, to emerge as the first Black and female WTO DG.

President Buhari thanked the European Council for its support for Nigeria’s candidate.

Also discussed during the conference were issues bordering on debt relief for Africa, EU-African relations and recharge of the Lake Chad, which has currently shrunk to less than one-third of its usual size, and throwing about 130 million people who depend on the Lake into dire straits.

Recharge of the Lake Chad is an issue the Nigerian President had vigorously canvassed at diverse global fora in recent time.

President Buhari expressed appreciation to Mr Michel for expected positive developments on the issues.