Tinubu vows to proceed on Qatar trip despite rejection of business summit

ABUJA- Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has insisted that President Bola Tinubu will proceed with his planned visit to Qatar, refusing to comment on a Note Verbale, where Qatari authorities communicated their unwillingness to welcome the Nigerian leader on the scheduled date.

Francisca Omayuli, the ministry’s spokesperson, released a statement on Saturday that read, “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 foreign affairs minister, Yusuf Tuggar, said Qatar and Nigeria are strong allies with a “long history of friendship and close bilateral relations,” adding that

Mr Tinubu’s upcoming visit to Doha “will help build on this important relationship.”

The ministry, according to Ms Omayuli, was aware that the diplomatic memo expressing Qatar’s unwillingness to host the Nigerian leader had been leaked to the media, but it would not comment on “leaks.”  

“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 spokesperson said.  

Peoples Gazette had earlier reported that the Qatari government rejected Mr Tinubu’s proposed visit for a business parley on March 2 and 3 because the nation’s commerce minister would be outside the country on the days the Nigerian leader intended to visit.

Qatari authorities in the Note Verbale also stated that they had no signed agreement with Nigeria on investment promotion and protection.

“The embassy has the honour to inform that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologises that it will not be able to hold a business and investment forum as proposed by the Nigerian side,” the Note Verbale sent by the Qatari government to the Nigerian government on Thursday stated.

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