Source AP ©

Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier to negotiate with Nigeria's government

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier came to Nigeria Wednesday to negotiate with President Umaru Yar'Adua's  new government.

Steinmeier and his delegation went into talks with Nigerian officials in the capital, Abuja, after welcome ceremonies. Both countries agreed at the meeting their bilateral relations were good, "but we came to the conclusion we could do more," he told reporters afterward.

Steinmeier is scheduled to meet Yar'Adua, who became Nigeria's latest elected president May 29, before departing to Ghana on Thursday. When Yar'Adua took office it was the first-ever civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in Nigeria's coup-ridden history.

Trade between the two countries was worth EUR 1.4 billion (US$1.91 billion) in 2006, according to the German Embassy. German companies are active in Nigeria's oil and gas sector as suppliers and service providers.

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil exporter and its most populous country with 140 million people. But violence in the oil producing southern region has cut a quarter of exports since the start of 2006.

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