Xenophobia: South African President Jacob Zuma and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

Xenophobia Should Not Destroy Our Relationship, Zuma Pleads with Jonathan

Xenophobe Should Not Destroy Our Relationship, Zuma Tells Jonathan
South African President Jacob Zuma and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
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The President of South Africa Jacob Zuma has pleaded with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan not to allow the the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa destroy relationship between South Africa and Nigeria.

According to reports, President Zuma made the plea in a a lengthy telephone conversation with his Nigeria counterpart, which centered on how to make both countries settle the burden of differences dumped on them by the disaster of the xenophobic attacks. Both Presidents also reaffirmed the need for their countries to work together to overcome this trying times.

In a statement issued this morning by the South African Presidency, President Zuma emphasised on the need not to allow the recent attacks on some Nigerians and their businesses create any diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

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The statement said: “The two Presidents reaffirmed the warm and cordial relations between South Africa and Nigeria and pledged that the two countries will continue to work together for the good of their peoples and the continent as a whole.

“President Jonathan expressed his support for the efforts of South Africa to arrest the attacks on foreign nationals and to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, including foreign nationals and those from the African continent in particular, who bore the brunt of the attacks earlier this month (April).”

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The statement added that President Zuma would be in Nigeria to support the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan by attending the inauguration of the President-elect of Nigeria, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari, which is expected to hold on May 29.

President Zuma’s approach is a huge u-turn from a tough-talking South African government that launched a Charm Offensive Against Nigeria Over Envoy Recall earlier in the week. President Zuma had described Nigeria’s decision to recall its ambassador over the xenophobic violence against Nigerians in South Africa as “unfortunate and regrettable,” and wondered why “a sisterly country” could resort “to such an extraordinary diplomatic step to express outrage at actions or behaviour of another government.”

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