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Ebola epidemic/Nigeria

Published on October 29, 2014
Statements by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at his joint press conference with his Nigerian counterpart (excerpts)
Abuja, October 27, 2014

When Germany and France take common approaches, Europe is of course being represented. In more general terms, we think – unlike the mathematicians – that when France and Germany act together, one plus one equals more than two.


I want to thank you warmly for the kindness of your welcome and, like my friend Franck-Walter [Steinmeier], tell you our reasons for visiting.

It’s about not only lending Nigeria our support in the face of terrorism and in support of democracy but also reiterating our determination to cooperate in all spheres with this, your great country. We support you in the fight against the terrorism Boko Haram represents, and we support the efforts being made to free the girls of Chibok. We know how decisive this struggle is for Nigeria and the whole region, and we also support you in your action for democracy.

This morning we visited the Electoral Commission, and we’re certain that the next election in 2015 will be clear, transparent and credible. At the same time, we express our desire to cooperate with this great country, Nigeria, in every field: the international field – where we’re active together, particularly in Mali, and we have our role on the United Nations Security Council –, our relationship at economic level, and our cooperation on health. And that’s the thrust of the agreement to combat Ebola that was signed today between Germany, Nigeria and France.

I’d like to conclude by saying that, on the basis of preparations for this visit to Nigeria, we – Germany and France together – decided to launch an initiative that could be called the “Abuja initiative” for the creation in Europe of “white helmets”. We’re going to propose this to our European colleagues so that, on humanitarian issues and when natural disasters occur, Europe can rapidly mobilize all its forces on the basis of a pre-established blueprint, through a new initiative that will be called the “white helmets”.

We feel that we’re working very well with Nigeria, and we have full and complete confidence in you. (…)./.

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