Tinubu stops over in Abu Dhabi to resolve Nigeria-UAE diplomatic row

Tinubu headed for Abu Dhabi to resolve the lingering diplomatic rift between Nigeria and the UAE.

President Bola Tinubu has booked a meeting with the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to resolve the lingering diplomatic dispute with Nigeria.

The meeting would take place during a technical stopover in Abu Dhabi, UAE, after the President departs from New Delhi, India.

Recall that Tinubu, alongside government officials and Nigerian businessmen and women, travelled to India to participate in the just concluded G-20 Summit and to meet Indian investors for investment opportunities in Nigeria.

Nigeria and the UAE have been having a diplomatic run-in regarding visa issues and flight operations. In 2022, the UAE authorities slammed a visa ban on Nigerians shortly after the emirate’s national carrier, Emirates, suspended flight operations in Nigeria over their inability to repatriate trapped funds.

This was followed by the decision of Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, to equally suspend flight operations to UAE as the country had stopped issuance of visas to prospective travelers.

But, Tinubu, while hosting the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, at the State House in late August, had promised an immediate resolution of the debacle, emphasising that he stands prepared to “personally’’ intervene.

True to his words, the President has now headed for Abu Dhabi to meet the UAE leadership on the issues.

This is according to a statement by the Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, on Sunday, September 10, 2023.

The statement read: “President Bola Tinubu will meet with the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a technical stopover in Abu Dhabi, UAE, after the President’s departure from New Delhi, India.

“The meeting will serve as a follow-up discussion to address specific, salient issues within the bilateral relationship after conversations held during a recent visit by the UAE Ambassador to the President at the State House in Abuja.

“The President is maximizing the opportunity of the stopover to equally advance his investment promotion objectives with high-level authorities in the public and private sectors of the United Arab Emirates.

“Following a successful investment drive on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, active participation in the G-20 Summit, and a productive stopover in the UAE, the President is expected to return to Abuja immediately following the bilateral engagement.”

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