Jonathan in closed-door session with Commonwealth Secretary-General

President Goodluck Jonathan today had a closed door session with the visiting Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Common Wealth Secretary-General and members of his delegation were accompanied to the meeting by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru.

Speaking to Journalists at the State House, after the closed door meeting with President Jonathan, Sharma their discussions focused on a wide-range of issues that are of mutual benefit to the group and Nigeria.

 “We talked of what contribution can be made by the Commonwealth in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. There was also the issue of deep bilateral collaboration between Commonwealth and Nigeria. 

“This extends to the election commission that has been working for a very long time, the observers even in the last election. It extends to a software we keep and renew on debt management. We are also ready to work with the country in the area of public administration.

“So I am meeting a lot of ministers. I had a meeting in the morning with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance and discussed many of these issues especially as they relate to trade and liquidity which are in the forefront of our membership. Tomorrow (Tuesday), I hope I will have the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Trade” he said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister also speaking to journalists said issues bordering on trade and free movement were also part of the discussions at the meeting adding that a proposal to exempt carriers of diplomatic and official passports from visa procurement ahead of the November?s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, had been tendered.

He noted that this gesture may eventually be extended to members of professional bodies.

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