Nigeria mulls "cultural diplomacy" with S. Africa over xenophobic attacks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-13 00:49:49|Editor: yan
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ABUJA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Friday said it aims to launch "cultural diplomacy" with the South African government to end incessant xenophobic attacks on citizens of the west African nation in that country.

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed in a meeting with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, said cultural diplomacy was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari's recommendations for people-to-people relations between both countries in ending xenophobia.

He described Nigeria and South Africa as "two brotherly nations," noting, in spite of occasional disagreements, both had enjoyed long-standing relations.

More than 100 citizens of Nigeria had been killed or injured in xenophobic attacks across South Africa since 2013, according to the Nigerian government.

The government spokesman said cultural diplomacy was an effective tool that would end xenophobia and strengthen the understanding between the two countries.

Among programs lined up to strengthen the cultural diplomacy, Mohammed said, include joint musical concerts and co-production of films.

"The activities would kick-off in the weeks ahead and would not be a one-off event," he added.

The South African envoy, while acknowledging the efforts of the Nigerian government toward the peaceful solution to xenophobic attacks, said there was need to deploy programs that would educate the people on the time-tested relations between both countries.

"We believe that using culture, music, poetry and many other forms of cultural relations will help to strengthen our cohesion," he said.