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Nigeria Committed to Libya Stability, Security – Buhari



President Muhammadu Buhari
By Martin Paul, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Libya authorities of Nigeria’s continued support to enthrone political and security stability in that country.

Buhari told the Head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, at a bilateral meeting on the margins of the AU Summit in Niamey, Niger Republic that as Nigerians “will do our best to help Libya stabilise’’.

The President who discussed recent developments in the North African country as well as bilateral issues between Nigeria and Libya with Mr.

Al-Sarraj, noted that there were over 6000 Nigerians in Libya, who see Libya as a gateway to Europe.

President Buhari said the humanitarian crisis arising from insurgency and the drying up of Lake Chad, which has affected over 30 million people in the region who depend on the Lake for farming, fishing and animal husbandry has forced some Nigerians to defy the desert to make perilous journeys across the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert to Europe.

A statement by Personal Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that  also in a separate audience with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, President Buhari stressed the role the international community needed to play in recharging the Lake, noting that the financial cost was beyond the affected countries.

The President decried the menace of terrorism in the Sahel countries, noting that the instability in Libya has been a negative force on the Sahel.

The Head of Libya’s GNA told the President that there had been a lot of deaths and injuries in his country, pledging, however, that his government was determined to put an end to the situation.

‘‘The aggression must stop. The solution is not military alone we also believe in diplomacy. We are also victims of terrorism, just like Nigeria,’’ he said.

Al-Sarraj stated that Libya contributed a lot to the establishment and survival of the AU, adding that it was now time for Africa to reciprocate.

On her part, the Deputy Secretary-General told the President that  growing security challenges in Africa were adversely affecting development and undermining the attainment of Sustaining Development Goals (SDGs).

She said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host the SDGs Summit during the high-level week of the 74th Session of the General Assembly in September, and will use the occasion to call for a road map for a decade of delivery of the sustainable development targets.

The Deputy Secretary-General also congratulated President Buhari for signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement at the AU Summit in Niamey, saying ‘‘the entire world was waiting for Nigeria.’’

Foreign News

Iran to Hold Memorial Services for Raisi on Tuesday




Memorial ceremonies for President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian are planned in Iran for Tuesday.

Raisi, Amirabdollahian and seven senior Iranian officials died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Local media reported that a ceremony is being planned in the provincial capital of Tabriz in the morning, followed by a ceremony in the religious stronghold and pilgrimage city of Qom.

The date for the funerals of the two statesmen has not yet been announced.

Raisi is to be buried in his hometown of Mashhad.

The helicopter crashed in dense fog on the mountains over East Azerbaijan Province while the deceased were travelling back from a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.


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Foreign News

Iran’s Leader Appoints 1st VP Acting President




Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Monday appointed the country’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber the interim president following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash.

Raisi was, on Sunday, killed in the crash along with the country’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian and some other senior Iranian officials in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan.

Khamenei made the appointment known in a condolence message on the death of  Raisi and the others.

The leader described Raisi as a popular, capable, hard working and indefatigable President, expressing  sadness at the “bitter news of his martyrdom”.

Khamenei said that, according to Article 131 of Iran’s Constitution, the first vice president would be appointed at the helm of the executive arm.

He said that the first vice president was duty-bound to, in cooperation with the parliament speaker and the judiciary chief, make arrangements for election of a new president within 50 days.


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Foreign News

All 9 Victims in Iranian Helicopter Crash Identified




The Iranian government said that all the nine people killed in Sunday’s helicopter crash have now been identified.

A high-ranking government representative told the Iranian news agency Tasnim, that  in spite of the  severe burns, the identities of all occupants in the helicopter were established on Monday .

Their bodies have since been transferred to Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province.

State media had previously confirmed the deaths of all nine occupants of the helicopter, including  president Ebrahim Raisi and foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

The chopper crashed while they were travelling back from a meeting with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.

A senior imam from Tabriz who led the Friday prayers in the city was on the aircraft.

Tasnim reported that the imam was alive for about an hour after the crash and was able to contact the presidential office before succumbing to his injuries.(dpa/NAN)

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