Nigerians face tighter 'security' at travels, risking US-Nigeria ties

Bilateral relations between Nigeria and U.S. could be at risk if Washington keeps its pressure for tighter security for Nigerian travellers, a minister said.

Nigerians face tighter 'security' at travels, risking US-Nigeria ties

Bilateral relations between Nigeria and the United States could be at risk if Washington keeps its requirement for tighter security for Nigerian travellers, a government minister said on Wednesday.

The procedures, which took effect from Monday, come in the wake of a botched Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner blamed on Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

"Nigeria expresses its disappointment and concern of the undeserved placement of Nigeria on the countries of interest list and views this action as having the potential of undermining longstanding and established U.S.-Nigeria bilateral ties," said Information Minister Dora Akunyili.

She did not elaborate on what could be at risk.

The United States is by far Nigeria's largest trade partner, accounting for nearly 45 percent of the OPEC member's exports, mainly crude oil, according to the IMF.

Nigeria's light crude grades are especially popular in the United States and Europe because they are easily refined into fuel products.

Nigeria's foreign minister met with U.S. ambassador Robin Sanders on Tuesday to formally request that Washington reconsiders its decision to include Africa's most populous country in its air security watch list.

Abdulmutallab, 23, has been charged with trying to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam on Dec. 25 with almost 300 people on board. He transferred to that flight from a KLM flight from Lagos.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2010, 20:21
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