Nigeria not on US’ terror watch list: Foreign Minister

Last Updated: Saturday, January 9, 2010 - 13:04

Abuja: Nigeria is not on the US` terror watch list and also the African nation has not been accused of sponsoring terrorism against it, Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe has said.
"Nigeria is not accused of sponsoring terrorism; we cannot be because it is not in our character and not in our culture. Nigeria was on the list of US friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan," Maduekwe said here during a function organised in the honour of visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Jiechi Yang.

He said that the US has said there was need to enhance security control for reasons which were clearly stated by them, they will naturally in their own judgment look more closely about traffic, in respect of 14 listed countries by the US.

A 23-year-old Nigerian had, on Christmas Day, attempted to detonate a bomb concealed in his underwear on a Delta Airline plane just before landing at Detroit airport.

In the backdrop of foiled terror attack, the US had put Nigeria in the list of 14 countries whose citizens would be subjected to rigorous searches at any American airport as part of an enhanced security measure. Maduekwe said "it was not acceptable to Nigeria”.

"We are discussing to ensure that attention given to Nigeria should not be different from attention given to any other country, and I think there was need to support the effort of both countries to allow quiet subtle diplomacy to prevail on the matter because that is what is going to solve the problem at the end of the day," the minister said.

He said discussions were going on between Nigeria and the US to ensure that any problem caused by the unfortunate incident of charismas day do not lead to degenerate into a face off.

PTI




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