South African President, Jacob Zuma, on Thursday had a telephone conversation with his Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, in a move described as part of efforts to avoid a diplomatic row between both nations over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa.
A statement credited to South Africa’s Presidency said both leaders restated the necessity for their countries to collaborate and not allow the current situation create any diplomatic crisis.
“The two presidents reaffirmed the warm and cordial relations between South Africa and Nigeria and pledged that the two countries will continue to work together for the good of their peoples and the continent as a whole.
“President Jonathan expressed his support for the efforts of South Africa to arrest the attacks on foreign nationals and to ensure the safety and security of all citizens, including foreign nationals and those from the African continent in particular, who bore the brunt of the attacks earlier this month,” the statement added.
Zuma, the statement continued, would attend the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president-elect, on May 29.
South Africa had taken a different position earlier, taunting Jonathan over the controversial recall of the Nigerian ambassador to its country.
The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene, recently urged the Federal Government to help halt the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country.
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