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|Saturday, January 13, 2001, updated at 20:41(GMT+8)|
Nigeria Welcomes Japan's Close Ties With AfricaNigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has welcomed Japan's new foreign policy initiative which recognizes the need for closer ties with Africa, a senior official has said in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.
Doyin Okupe, special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, told correspondents at the end of the talks between President Obasanjo and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Mori on Friday that their talks focused on areas of bilateral cooperation including trade, information technology, poverty alleviation, infrastructural development and education, among others.
Mori described Nigeria as the "engine of growth" for the sub- Saharan region, stressing that any assistance to Nigeria would translate into immense benefits for the rest members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Mori, who arrived in Abuja Friday, is expected to leave on Saturday. It is the last leg of his three-nation African tour. Before his arrival in Abuja, he had visited South Africa and Kenya. The trip is the first ever visit to sub-Saharan Africa by an incumbent Japanese prime minister.
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