Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city, as part of his South-South Dignity Tour in Africa.
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“We have excellent friendly ties with Venezuela. The relationship between the people is strong and the African and Nigerian blood runs in the Venezuelan people's veins. We're connected in a very meaningful way,” said Onyeama.
The oil-producers signed “strategic” agreements to “create education capacities and developing human talent” between the two countries, as well as to strengthen dialogue and cooperation.
The meeting was held in the Nigerian Foreign Ministry headquarters, with the presence of the ambassadors for Cuba, Syria and Palestine in solidarity with the Bolivarian country, as well as Venezuelan diplomatic personnel in Nigeria.
Onyeama highlighted similarities between the two countries, saying the OPEC members have the common challenge to “diversify our economics beyond oil.”
“We have a security challenge, facing terrorism, and we're also facing the common challenge of the sudden drop of oil prices,” said Onyeama.
Onyeama also expressed Nigeria's solidarity toward the electoral process in Venezuela, and called on the international community to “support the Venezuelan people and their right to choose their representatives.”
“We believe the way to face the challenges in Venezuela is in the democratic process and through the elections. We greet the government for having convened that option,” said Onyeama.
The Nigerian diplomat also expressed opposition to U.S. and EU sanctions on Venezuela, and urged dialogue.
“We stand in solidarity because of the increasingly severe sanctions that third-parties have imposed on the country,” Onyeama added.
“We make a call to involved countries to adopt a constructive stance on Venezuela.”
The visit is the first stop of a diplomatic tour in Africa, with the aim of strengthening relations in solidarity with supportive countries in the continent. The visit is part of a bigger tour that Arreaza started on Feb. 1, which has included visits to Cuba, Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, Surinam and Nicaragua.