President Muhammadu Buhari met with the United States President Joe Biden in Washington DC.
The photos shared by the Presidency on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, showed Buhari in a meeting with Biden and the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the White House on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leader’s Summit.
Buhari departed from Abuja on Sunday to join other African leaders for the summit aimed at rebooting US relations on the continent in Washington DC.
The US-Africa summit, which began in 2014, is the biggest international gathering in Washington since the COVID-19 pandemic and the most substantial commitment by a US administration to boosting its influence in Africa for almost a decade.
The summit, according to the US government, “will demonstrate the US enduring commitment to Africa and will underscore the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared priorities.”
Meanwhile, the US President Joe Biden on Wednesday met the leaders of African nations that hold elections in the new year to press for a free vote.
On the sidelines of a summit that has brought most African leaders to Washington, Biden and his top aides met separately with a group of six leaders as part of his democracy push.
The group included Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who is ineligible to seek a third term in February to lead Africa’s most populous country, and President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo who took office in 2019 in the vast country’s first peaceful transfer of power.
Also participating were Gabon’s Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been president since 2009 after succeeding his longtime-ruling father, and the leaders of Liberia, Madagascar and Sierra Leone, according to the White House.
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, said ahead of the meeting that the president would call for free elections across the continent.
He said the participation of the leaders did not necessarily indicate the United States had concerns with each country.
“We would like to do everything we can to support those elections being free, fair and credible,” Sullivan, who took part in the meeting, told reporters on Monday.
“And that goes for every election taking place in 2023, not picking and choosing certain ones and setting other ones aside.”
The United States has hailed Tshisekedi for agreeing to hold elections as scheduled in DR Congo, where past votes have been marred by unrest.
In September, the United States boosted by $13 million its support for the DR Congo’s election including by funding local and international observers.
See the photos below: