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American Diplomats Highlight U.S./Nigeria Ties print

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American Diplomats Highlight U.S./Nigeria Ties print


The
United States and Nigeria are two exceptional countries in the world
and share many values in common beyond just commercial and cultural
ties, U.S. top diplomats in Nigeria said at a party to mark their
country’s 238th anniversary.
The United States declared
independence on 4 July 1776 from the Kingdom of Great Britain, now
officially known as the United Kingdom, and the date is celebrated every
year by Americans at home and abroad.
“I find Nigeria
to be a truly fascinating country,” the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria,
James Entwistle, said at an American-style cookout held at the residence
of Jeffrey Hawkins, the U.S. Consul General in Lagos, western Nigeria,
on Saturday.
“As I travel around this country, and as I
talk to Nigerians on any subject, it quickly becomes clear the depth
and the breadth of the relationship between our two great democracies.”
•Americans during American and Nigerian national anthems at the independence anniversary party in Lagos on Saturday

•Americans during American and Nigerian national anthems at the independence anniversary party in Lagos on Saturday
Entwistle said the relationship between Nigeria and America has been ‘good and wonderful’ for many decades.
“Whether
you’re talking about military assistance, commercial ties, cultural
ties, the relationship between our two countries has been good, has been
wonderful for many decades.”
Hawkins, the U.S. Consul
General in Lagos, said apart from huge trade ties and the big Nigerian
population in America, there are at least three values that make Nigeria
and America exceptional in the world.
“Nigerians are
really American and Americans are really Nigerian. The two countries are
very very similar; they share a lot of values,” Hawkins told hundreds
of American and Nigerian guests.
“Just three examples
of that: We are both very forward looking people, we’re always looking
ahead, we’re optimistic. (We) are people of great faith,” Hawkins said.
He
said Nigeria and America are also two truly democratic countries and
pledged America’s partnership for that democracy to be strengthened in
the 2015 elections.
 “And as we go forward, and as we
look at 2015 and the great electoral contest that is coming up here,
we’re very interested in cementing those values further, and working
with all sorts of partners to make sure that 2015 elections are peaceful
and credible.”
Hawkins said Nigeria and America also believe they are called to play a greater role in the world affairs.
“The
United States plays that role and Nigeria does too. You see that on the
Security Council or the work that you do in peace keeping and
engagements in the African Union. Those are the things that we share in
common.”
Hawkins did not mention Boko Haram by name but
said despite terrorist threats and other concerns, Nigeria and America
will remain partners and will continue to play greater role in the
world.
The event was attended by at least 500 Nigerians
and Americans who defied the heavy rain, including the king of Lagos,
Oba Rilwan Akiolu, ex-governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, writer
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, diplomats and other low and mighty residents
in Nigeria. The guests were entertained by American band, Henhouse
Prowlers.

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