Thursday, 29 July, 2021

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WTO top job: Buhari excited as US finally backs Okonjo-Iweala


…Says action important for US, Nigeria’s relations

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the endorsement of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the Director-General position of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is an important turnaround in the relations between Nigeria in particular, the African continent in general and the United States under the Joe Biden administration.
He welcomed the pronouncement of the Office of the United States Trade Representative, signifying withdrawal of the country’s objection to the emergence of Okonjo-Iweala as head of the WTO top job.
The statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted Buhari as saying, “we certainly welcome the decision of the new U.S administration to remove the last obstacle in the path of Dr Okonjo-Iweala to becoming the first female and the first person of African descent to lead the organization.
“Nigeria and the entire African Continent are happy about this new US position, which signifies a shift and an important turnaround in the relations between our continent and the United States under the Biden administration.
“Today, we see that the United States stands with Nigeria and Africa with the acceptance of our widely respected citizen, Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO. We look forward to working very closely with the new US administration on this and all issues of common interests, especially in such areas as accelerated economic growth, fight against terrorism and deepening progress on development issues.”
The Office of the United States Trade Representative throwing its weight behind Dr Okonjo-Iweala in a statement issued in Washington DC and made available to Sunday Sun by the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, the United States Government, said that it took note of Friday’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, to withdraw her candidacy for the WTO DG job.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next director general of the WTO.  Dr Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.  She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership,” the US government said.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative further said the Biden-Harris administration also congratulated Yoo Myung-hee on her strong campaign for the position.

Credit: The Sun

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