US Secretary, Tillerson, meets Buhari in Abuja

US Secretary, Tillerson, meets Buhari in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, that the Federal Government was working with global organisations to secure the release of abducted school girls in the North Eastern part of the country.

He also planned to meet US Embassy staff, and attend a working lunch with Monica Juma, the nation's minister for foreign affairs.

It is believed that the 2019 general elections will also be part of discussions between Tillerson and President Buhari.

He said Chadian President Idriss Deby had "expressed his incomprehension" to Tillerson about the restrictions.

He recalled that the then American Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls, "and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did".

So Chad's leaders felt blindsided when Trump added their citizens to the travel restrictions list, lumping Chad together with US enemies like North Korea.

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This will be his first trip to Africa as the senior-most USA diplomat and since his arrival in the continent last Wednesday; he has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The U.S. agency said it chose that course of action to comply with a court ruling that said the Obama administration failed to follow proper procedure in enacting the original ban.

President Buhari said Nigeria prefers to have the schoolgirls back alive, and that is why it has chosen negotiation, rather than military option.

Buhari is expected to visit Yobe state this week.

Tillerson who visited the capital N'Djamena on Monday described Chad as an "important partner" in counter terrorism.

Chad a year ago was stunned to find itself on one of six mainly-Muslim countries whose countries are affected by President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Progress had been made with dealing with what has been cited as the reason for including Chad on the list - problems with its passports, which are not biometric.

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