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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Nigerian Minister of Defense Aliyu Mohammed Gusau

National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met today with Defense Minister Aliyu Mohammed Gusau of Nigeria. Ambassador Rice noted Nigeria’s upcoming presidential elections on March 28, and, echoing President Obama’s message to the Nigerian people earlier this week, she underscored the importance of a transparent, free, fair, and inclusive electoral process without violence. She also highlighted the critical need for the Nigerian security forces to remain apolitical while providing election security. Additionally, Ambassador Rice noted recent progress Nigeria and its neighbors have achieved in the campaign against Boko Haram. She reaffirmed the United States’ support for a regional campaign to counter the terrorist group while respecting human rights and addressing the underlying causes of Boko Haram’s founding and territorial expansion. Ambassador Rice reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continue to support Nigeria and its regional partners in their efforts to end Boko Haram’s deplorable violence, protect civilians, and restore security throughout the Lake Chad Basin region.