By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”VICE President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received letters of credence from four envoys with assurance that the Federal Government is working towards enhancing its diplomatic ties with their countries, particularly in the area of economic relations.
He said Nigeria is interested in improving economic ties with Serbia, Portugal, Venezuela and Botswana, and therefore solicited their cooperation in this regard.
Jonathan gave the assurance after the new Serbian Ambassador, Mr. Rifat Rondic and Portuguese Ambassador; Mr. Joao Maria Cabral respectively presented their letters of credence in Abuja, yesterday.
The Vice President also received letters of credence from the new Ambassador of Venezuela, Mr. Enrique Arrundez and the High Commissioner from Botswana, Mr. Clifford Maribe.
Calls for better economic relations
He stressed the need for Nigeria and Portugal to exploit the long historical link between the two countries and work out better economic relations.
â€œOur Foreign Affairs Ministry will work with you to improve on the economic relations between our countries. We must also encourage the business class of both countries to explore the opportunities available,â€™â€™ Dr. Jonathan told the Serbian envoy.
The Vice President said with the formal assumption of duty of Mr. Arrundez, he should work with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to promptly sign the pending Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and Venezuela.
He recalled that the pending agreements were reached at the last Africa-South America, ASA, Summit hosted by Venezuela last year.
While congratulating Mr. Maribe for the responsibilities assigned to him by his country, Botswana, as the first High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonathan expressed satisfaction with the ability of that country to manage its economy and assured improved diplomatic relations between both countries.
Earlier, the Serbian and Portuguese Envoys had separately requested for improved economic and diplomatic ties with Nigeria; while Arrundez noted that diplomatic relations between Venezuela and Nigeria dated back to 1965 and requested that Nigeria should use its position as the Africa Regional Coordinator of ASA to enhance the relationship.