France offers to host summit on Boko Haram

Sunday 11 May 2014 22.48
There has been global outrage over Boko Haram's abduction of 200 schoolgirls
There has been global outrage over Boko Haram's abduction of 200 schoolgirls

France has offered to host a summit with Nigeria and its neighbours focused on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, President Francois Hollande said.

"With Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, I have proposed to hold a meeting with the countries bordering Nigeria,"Mr Hollande said during a visit to the Azeri capital of Baku.

Global outrage over the Boko Haram's abduction of 200 schoolgirls last month has focused attention on the group, which has destabilised large swathes of northeast Nigeria and its neighbours.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to help Nigeria search for the kidnapped schoolgirls.

A statement said that Mr Netanyahu, currently on an official visit to Japan, made the proposal in a telephone call to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

"Israel expresses its deep shock at the crime against the girls," it quoted the premier as saying.

"We are prepared to help in locating the girls and to fight the cruel terror which has struck you."

Boko Haram, whose name is loosely translated as "Western education is forbidden" kidnapped the girls from their school on 14 April, and has threatened to sell them.

The abduction caused worldwide outrage and offers of help, including from US President Barack Obama.