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Josefine 12-03-2003 10:32 AM

State Visit To Nigeria 2003
 
starts today

A.C.C. 12-03-2003 08:55 PM

3 December 2003

SPEECH MADE BY THE QUEEN AT THE RECEPTION GIVEN BY PRESIDENT OBASANJO, ABUJA, OPENING THE COMMONWEALTH HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING 2004

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for your invitation to visit Nigeria and for your kind words of welcome. Prince Philip and I have many vivid memories of our visit here in 1956. Although much has changed since then, the warmth of the Nigerian welcome remains a constant and we have again been touched by the generous reception we have been given.

Mr. President, my visit is a demonstration of the value Britain attaches to its relations with Nigeria and a recognition of the role this country plays on the international stage. The links between our two countries of course have deep historical roots, but it is also a living and expanding relationship.

Thousands of Nigerians visit the United Kingdom every year for business and pleasure. Many are enrolled in British universities, colleges and schools. And British citizens of Nigerian descent continue to make a valuable contribution in many areas of British life at national and local level.

The United Kingdom is well represented in Nigeria. British investment in the economy is worth billions of pounds and more than four thousand British citizens live and work here. The British Council is this year celebrating sixty years of helping to spread knowledge of modern British life across your country and the BBC World Service reaches many Nigerians in their homes. My government also provides significant development support for Nigerian programmes in areas as varied as universal basic education, access to justice and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Nigeria has much to be proud of. Your natural wealth has made it the world's sixth largest oil exporter. You have writers and artists, international laureates, celebrated sports and music stars, and heads of international organisations. You have built this fine new capital which this year has so successfully hosted the All Africa Games. Abroad, you play an important role in the region and in the continent as a whole. And, as Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria has an important voice on global issues. My country particularly applauds the leading part the Nigerian Government and people are playing in the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the international community's efforts to bring peace and stability to Liberia, Sierra Leone and other nations wracked by conflict in West Africa. It is fitting that Nigeria should host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting this year.

You will know better than I that Nigeria has also suffered adversity and reverses. So Britain and the wider international community rejoiced at Nigeria's return to democratic rule in 1999. We also recognised the importance of the elections held earlier this year and the civilian transition that followed. We welcome your government's plans for much-needed political, economic and judicial reform, poverty alleviation and the fight against corruption.

These are huge challenges. I am told that a Nigerian proverb runs: "never start a journey if you have no plan to finish it". Mr. President, it matters to the United Kingdom and to the other countries of the Commonwealth that Nigeria does not falter on the journey of development and democracy. Without prosperity - and democracy - in Nigeria, there will be no lasting prosperity in Africa; and without that prosperity in Africa, there cannot be lasting prosperity, with good conscience, in our world.

Binny 12-04-2003 04:55 AM

8 Attachment(s)
1.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are greeted by women in traditional dress as the royal couple arrive in Abuja, Nigeria, Wednesday Dec. 3, 2003. This is the first time since 1956 that the queen has visited Nigeria. (AP Photo / Russell Boyce, POOL)

2.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II laughs with Nigerian President Olusugun Obasanjo during a reception in her honor at the State House in Abuja. Queen Elizabeth arrived in Nigeria 3 December two days ahead of a summit of 52 leaders of the Commonwealth overshadowed by the threat of a north-south split over Zimbabwe(AFP/Pool/Nic Bothma)


The Queen looks delighted to be in Nigeria, doesn't she?!

3.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, right, meets local people at a reception at the State Banqueting House in Abuja, Nigeria, Wednesday Dec.3, 2003. The queen and her husband arrived earlier Wednesday during her first visit to the country since 1956. (AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth, POOL)

4.Queen Elizabeth IIduring her visit the village of Karu near Abuja in Nigeria December 4, 2003. The queen visited a compound within the village which has been built to stage a radio series. REUTERS/Ian Jones/POOL

5.Queen Elizabeth II smiles during her visit to the village of Karu near Abuja in Nigeria December 4, 2003. The queen visited a compound within the village which has been built to stage a radio series. REUTERS/George Esiri

6.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II ® puts soil at the base of a palm tree during a tree planting ceremony at the Millennium Park in Abuja, Nigeria, December 4, 2003. The queen, on her first state visit to Nigeria in 47 years, is due to open a four-day summit of Commonwealth leaders on December 5. REUTERS/POOL/Saurabh Das

7.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is shown around a mock-up market in the grounds of a local government headquarters in New Karu village near Abuja in Nigeria Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003. The market, staffed by a mixture of actual market-sellers and actors, was purpose-built for the event as part of a BBC radio soap-opera. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

8.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is shown around a mock-up market in the grounds of a local government headquarters in New Karu village near Abuja in Nigeria Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003. The market, staffed by a mixture of actual market-sellers and actors, was purpose-built for the event as part of a BBC radio soap-opera. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Binny 12-04-2003 04:17 PM

5 Attachment(s)
1-3.Britain's Queen Elizabeth, right, tours the village of Karu in Nigeria, Thursday Dec. 4, 2003, on the second day of her official visit to the West African country during a meeting of British Commonwealth leaders. (AP Photo/Ian Jones, POOL)

REUTERS/Russell Boyce

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool

She looks fascinated by him!

4.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, right, looks at traditional pots at a mock-up market in Karu, near Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday Dec. 4, 2003, on the second day of her official visit to the West African country. The market, staffed by a mixture of actual market-sellers and actors, was built for the event as part of a BBC radio soap-opera. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool)

5.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, receives the Emir of Kano at an audience at the Aguda House in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday Dec. 4, 2003, during her official visit to the West African country. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)

Love this photo!

Alexandria 12-04-2003 07:57 PM

10 Attachment(s)
1-4.Polfoto 04-12-2003 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II tours the village of Karu in Nigeria, Thursday December 4, 2003, on the second day of her official visit of the West African country. Local traders were putting on a special market for the royal visitor but, for security reasons, their stalls were being moved some 100 metres from the usual location.

5,6.Polfoto 04-12-2003 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is escorted by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at the Millennium Park in Abuja, Nigeria, Thursday Dec. 4, 2003. Later the Queen was due to launch a radio soap opera in a village, on the second day of her official visit to the West African country.

7-9.Polfoto 03-12-2003 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II makes a speech at a reception at the State Banqueting House in Abuja, Nigeria during her first visit to the country since 1956.

Here is one of Prince Phillip!

10.Polfoto 03-12-2003 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II accompanied by her husband The Duke of Edinburgh, arriva at Abuja airport in Nigeria, Wednesday 3rd December 2003, at the start of her visit, during which she will attend to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

Alexandria 12-04-2003 09:11 PM

10 Attachment(s)
1-3.IBL

4,5.Polfoto 04-12-2003 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with the Royal Fathers at the British High Commision in Abuja, Nigeria. Thursday December 4, 2003, during her four-day official visit to the West African country. Earlier the Queen visited a market in Karu and launched a radio soap opera staged by the BBC.

6,7.Polfoto 05-12-2003 - The Duke of Edinburgh tours the Commonwealth People's Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday December 5, 2003, on the opening day of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting.

8-10.IBL - 12/05/2003. HRH the Duke of Edinburgh tours the commonwealth people forum, Yar'adua centre in Abuja, Nigeria.

Binny 12-05-2003 04:59 PM

7 Attachment(s)
1.Britain's Prince Philip, left, tours the Commonwealth People's Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, Friday, Dec. 5, 2003, on the opening day of the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting (CHOGM). (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

2.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo smile at the official opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja, Nigeria(AFP/POOL/Stefan Rousseau)

3.Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon, left, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, second from left, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, and Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, right, watch traditional dances during an opening ceremony of the Commonwealth summit in Abuja, Nigeria Friday, Dec. 5, 2003. (AP Photo/Yves Herman, Pool)

4.Britains Queen Elizabeth and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh greet well-wishers inside the compound of the British Council in Abuja in Nigeria December 5, 2003. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

5.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II called on Commonwealth leaders to fight poverty and build peace, as she opened a summit of the 54-nation grouping that is likely to focus on its rift over Zimbabwe.(AFP/Reuters/Yves Herman)

6.Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair (2nd R) is greeted by Queen Elizabeth II as he arrives with his wife Cherie ® during the evening reception of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, December 5, 2003. Cherie Blair is greeted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon © while the Duke of Edinburgh looks on. REUTERS/Russell Boyce

7.Britain's Queen Elizabeth II seated at the official opening of this year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Abuja(AFP/POOL/Stefan Rousseau)


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