We express our deep regret at the recent violence and tragic loss of lives in Jos, and extend our sympathies to the bereaved and injured. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice and to support interethnic and interfaith dialogue.
Nigeria is one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a member of the UN Security Council, a global oil producer, a leader in ECOWAS, a major peacekeeping contributing country, and a stabilizing force in West Africa. Nigeria's stability and democracy carry great significance beyond its immediate borders.
We therefore extend our support to the people of Nigeria during the current period of uncertainty, caused by President Yar'Adua's illness. We extend our best wishes to the President and his family, and join the Nigerian people in wishing him a full recovery.
Nigeria has expressed its resolve to adhere to constitutional processes during this difficult time. We commend that determination to address the current situation through appropriate democratic institutions. Nigeria's continued commitment and adherence to its democratic norms and values are key to addressing the many challenges it faces, including electoral reform, post-amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, economic development, inter-faith discord and transparency. The gubernatorial elections in Anambra on 6 February will be a milestone in the journey towards electoral reform and a signal of Nigeria's commitment to the principles of democracy.
We are committed to continue working with Nigeria on the internal issues it faces while working together as partners on the global stage.
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