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EU Council president interacts with Buhari, reiterates support for Okonjo-Iweala over WTO job

President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Friday reiterated Europe’s support for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

President of the European Council, Charles Michel

Michel made the position of the council known during a video conference with President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

“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,” Adesina said in a statement.

He added that Buhari expressed appreciation to Michel for expected positive developments on the issues.

Okonjo-Iweala has received support of most countries to become the next WTO DG but the United States on Wednesday rejected her emerging as a consensus candidate for the position vacated in August by Brazilian diplomat, Roberto Avezedo.

The US declared the South Korean Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, as its preference for the position.

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