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Qatar Makes U-Turn, To Hold Investment Forum During Tinubu’s Visit

There was some controversy over the President’s visit with some reports claiming Qatar had snubbed him.


Civil Service
File photo of President Bola Tinubu

 

The State of Qatar has made a U-turn regarding its earlier decision not to host a Business and Investment Forum proposed by the Federal Government of Nigeria during President Bola Tinubu’s planned visit to the Arab country between March 2 and 3, 2024.

There was some controversy over the President’s visit with some reports claiming Qatar had snubbed him. A so-called leaked memo dated February 22 2024 had showed that Qatar declined the proposed forum, saying the Arab country had no agreement with the Nigerian side on the matter.

Presidential spokesman Bayo Onanuga would later issue a statement denying the claim, saying that the so-called leaked diplomatic paper was by mischief makers.

A day after, the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja issued a Note Verbale to the Nigerian government, saying the above-mentioned event for March 3, 2024 would now hold.

The new memo shared by Onanuga on X (formerly Twitter) was dated February 23, 2024.

It read, “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 our Note: Ref QEA\FA\057\24 dated 22/02/2024 regarding holding of a Business and Investment (BIF) on the margins of Mr President’s visit to Qatar on 2nd March 2024.

“The Embassy has the honour to convey that the Qatar Chamber of Commerce will host the above-mentioned event on 3rd March 2024, as proposed by the Nigerian side.”

Also, Alkasim Abdulkadir, spokesman for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, confirmed in a statement that the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja made the clarification.

“The clarification has become necessary to clear deliberate misinformation and misrepresentations in the media on the purported cancellation of the event,” Abdulkadir stated.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has again confirmed that President Tinubu will embark on a State Visit to Qatar from March 2 to 3, 2024 to further “cement the excellent relations existing between the two countries”.

The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, in statement on Sunday, said during the visit, discussions will be held at the highest level, on a wide range of bilateral and economic issues.

“The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar (OON), among some other Ministers and top government officials,” the statement noted.

The ministry further stated it was “aware of the circulation of a diplomatic correspondence on the social media and wishes to state that it will not comment on leaks”.