‘Qatar Didn’t Snub Tinubu’ – Presidency Speaks On Leaked Diplomatic Memo

 

The Presidency has said President Bola Tinubu will be travelling to Qatar on a state visit from March 2 to 3 2024.
It also dismissed claims that the government of Qatar has snubbed Tinubu over his upcoming state visit to the Gulf country.

This followed a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of Qatar in Abuja and Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Tinubu’s planned visit.

However, in a statement on Saturday, presidential media aide, Bayo Onanuga, said the state visit will proceed as planned at the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Onanuga said the planned visit aimed to strengthen bilateral economic ties between Nigeria and Qatar, adding that both Tinubu and the Qatari Emir remained committed to maintaining warm relations between their countries.

Onanuga stressed that the leaked letter only concerned a private sector forum being organised by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce.

According to him, the business forum is separate and tangential to the high-level state visit, during which Tinubu will hold talks with the Qatari leadership.

He said, “We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar between 2 and 3 March 2024.

“The leaked diplomatic paper by mischief makers about an investment forum is not in any way a snub on President Tinubu by the Qatari government.

“The Note Verbale is about a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the margins of President Bola Tinubu’s State Visit.

“The event is being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry where business people from Nigeria will engage their counterparts from Qatar on commercial and investment opportunities available in both countries.”

Onanuga said the state visit is expected to focus on cooperation in areas like oil and gas, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, ICT and mineral resources.

“President Tinubu is expected to proceed to Qatar on the State Visit as scheduled and during the visit, the Nigerian leader will engage in high-level bilateral discussions with the Qatari leader on many important matters, covering the full range of diplomatic and economic issues.

“It is not correct for anyone to insinuate that the Qatari authorities have snubbed the Nigerian leader over a business and investment forum which is tangential to the all-important State Visit and which President Tinubu is slated to attend as a guest.

“President Tinubu and His Highness Al-Thani are both committed to maintaining and building on the existing cordial and special relationship between Nigeria and the State of Qatar,” he added.


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