Germany has promised financial and medical assistance for Ebola-hit countries and called for stronger international cooperation to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Nigerian counterpart Aminu Bashir Wali in Berlin on Tuesday: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "All of the EU member states will commit themselves not only to providing financial means but also to provide help on the ground to fight against Ebola.

"There is a long road ahead of us because the international common fight against Ebola was started fairly late."

"Now we have to put in all our efforts in order to come to a good result as quickly as possible," he said.

The minister also praised Nigeria’s efforts in combating the deadly virus.

He said: "At present there are no new cases of Ebola in Nigeria.

"Looking at the situation in neighboring countries, that is a great achievement."

- 'Vigorous campaign'

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday declared Nigeria free of the Ebola virus after the country underwent two incubation periods of 21 days each without the appearance of any new cases.

Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed at least 4,546 people in the three West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the WHO.

Nigeria had registered eight Ebola deaths out of a total of 19 reported infections.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Aminu Bashir Wali praised the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan and said he had taken leadership in the fight against Ebola, leading a vigorous campaign.

Wali also offered support for neighboring countries.

He said: "We have a team of volunteers, doctors, nurses and health workers that have worked against the spread of Ebola in Nigeria.

"They are waiting and willing to go and help in those countries that are still struggling to fight Ebola."

- 'Military option'

Asked about the cease-fire deal with Boko Haram and expectations towards the release of over 200 girls kidnapped by the militant group, Nigerian Foreign Minister Aminu Bashir Wali expressed hope for a solution, saying: "I can say, with some optimism - with cautious optimism - that we are moving towards a situation where we will be able in the very near future to get back our girls."

He underlined the Nigerian government would continue talks.

He said: "You cannot only depend on negotiations, you have to also keep in sight the military option.

"Of course you cannot win military totally. But you can have the combination of the two."

German Foreign Minister Steinmeier expressed support for Nigeria’s efforts for a ceasefire and for the release of the kidnapped girls.

- Civilians massacred

He said: "Threats of this kind cannot be combatted by military means alone … the Nigerian government is trying its upmost to find ways and means to tackle this basic confrontation.

"Your government has actually brought about a cease-fire and we can hope that, as a consequence of the ceasefire, a release of the girls would be possible."

Boko Haram has waged a five-year insurgency in the northeastern region of Nigeria where more than 13,000 people, mostly civilians, have been massacred.

The economy of the region was also brought to its knees.

The Nigerian military last month announced the killing of the man who, according to it, had been mimicking the "long dead" Abubakar Shekau, the erratic spiritual leader of the group.

In April, the group made international headlines after it kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls from their dormitory in northeastern Borno state.

Fifty-seven of the girls managed to escape.

Anadolu Agency