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UPDATED: 08:21, August 10, 2004
Nigeria calls for improved relations with US air force
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Nigerian Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Jonah Wuyep Monday called for improved relations between the Nigerian air force and its US counterpart while meeting in Abuja with Commander of the US Air Forces in Europe Robert Foglesong.

Wuyep said mutually beneficial relations between the Nigerian and US air forces diminished over the years as a result of the prolonged military rule in Nigeria.

Describing the relations between the air forces of the two countries as "long standing," the Nigerian air force chief said hehoped the suspended training program for Nigerian air force crew by the US air force "would be restored."

"Many of our pilots and instructor pilots were trained by the US Air Force," he said, adding that he himself graduated from Vance Air Force Base in the United States.

The Nigerian air force has recently procured a 3 million US dollars aid package of C-130 spare parts from the United States.

Another area that had become of mutual concern to the two countries, he said, was the Gulf of Guinea with its vast oil and gas potentials.

"It is apparent that this region is assuming increasing importance in the strategic calculations of the US in view of the growing instability in the Middle East," he said.

Wuyep said there was a need for both Nigeria and the United States to develop the capabilities and cooperation to cope with potential threats in the area.

Source: Xinhua

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