Jonathan, Zenawi Appeal to Libya's New Rulers Over Migrants

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President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia Friday in Addis Ababa called on the National Transition Council (NTC) in Libya to take urgent action to guarantee the safety of thousands of African Migrants currently trapped in parts of the country.

In a joint communiqué issued after their meeting in the Ethiopian capital, President Jonathan and his host regretted the continued violence and loss of lives in Libya caused by resistance by Muammar Ghaddafi’s loyalists to the consolidation of the NTC’s authority.

Applauding the recognition of the NTC by the African Union, the two leaders urged the Council to move quickly to form an all-inclusive government that will work towards national reconciliation and reconstruction.

President Jonathan and Prime Minister Zenawi also urged the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Jean Ping to “engage more vigorously with the National Transition Council and take steps to ensure an early resumption of full participation by Libya in African Union Affairs”.

They condemned the growing incidence of global terrorism in all its forms and. agreed to join hands with the international community to fight the common threat to humanity.

President Jonathan and Prime Minister Zenawi also agreed on the need to expand areas of economic cooperation between Nigeria and Ethiopia through the provision of an enabling environment and an appropriate regulatory framework.

They agreed to encourage and promote private sector participation in their two economies, particularly in the areas of power, energy, aviation, tourism and mining.

To this end, agreement was also reached by both leaders to revitalize their Joint Ministerial Commission and reposition it as a key vehicle for the expansion of bilateral economic cooperation. Nigeria is to host the next session of the commission early next year.

On a visit to the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa earlier in the day, President Jonathan assured the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Ping, its Commissioners, Directors and other senior officials that Nigeria, under his leadership, will remain in the forefront of efforts to ensure that the organisation’s objectives are fully achieved.

President Jonathan urged the AU to continue to work for political stability in Africa by encouraging full democratisation and good governance in all African countries.

Dr. Ping thanked President Jonathan for visiting the AU Commission in spite the time constraints imposed by his busy schedule in Addis Ababa , saying that the visit was a demonstration of the importance the President attaches to the African Union and its work.

Praising Nigeria ’s contributions to peace in Africa and the world through ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations, Dr. Ping urged President Jonathan to sustain Nigeria ’s leading role on the continent.

At a meeting with members of the Nigerian community in Ethiopia late Thursday, President Jonathan reaffirmed his commitment to achieving significant and enduring socio-economic transformation of the country before the end of his tenure.

He also assured the gathering that his Administration was taking positive steps to improve security in the country.