‘Tinubu Will Be In Qatar’ — FG Explains ‘Rejection’ Reports

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BY EDMOND ODOK – Contrary to widespread reports in the media, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be visiting Qatar, United Arab Emirates, between March 2 and 3., 2024, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Reacting to reports making rounds that Qatari authorities rejected Tinubu’s offer to visit the country, a statement on Saturday night by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, confirmed that Tinubu will visit Qatar as earlier scheduled.

The statement stated thus; “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms State/Official Visit by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Qatar on 2-3 March, excellent relations between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the and the State of Qatar.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms the forthcoming visit by His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the State of Qatar on 2-3 March, as scheduled. The visit will include bilateral discussions at the highest level across a full range of strategic, diplomatic, and economic issues.

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Qatar have a long history of friendship and close bilateral relations. The forthcoming visit to Doha by HE President Tinubu will help build on this important relationship.”

Signed by the Ministry’s Spokesperson, Francisca K. Omayuli, the statement further said; “The Ministry is aware of the circulation in the media of diplomatic correspondence and wishes to confirm that it will not comment on leaks.”

The Ministry’s statement was against the backdrop of a memo that has been trending online indicating the Arabian country’s inability to honour a proposed business parley with Nigeria during President Tinubu’s planned State visit to their country.

The letter read thus; “The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja presents its compliments to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Regarding the upcoming State visit of H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Qatar from 2nd – 3rd March 2024 and with reference to your Note which proposed the holding of a Business and Investment Forum (BIF).

“The Embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologizes that it will not be able to hold a Business and Investment Forum as proposed by the Nigerian side due to the following reasons:

“Unfortunately, there is no agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection…His Excellency the Minister of Commerce and Industry will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period…The State of Qatar will be hosting a Web Summit during the suggested period and the State’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event.

“The Embassy of the State of Qatar avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria the assurances of its highest consideration”.

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