Tinubu insists on visit as Qatar turns down President’s request

Tinubu.
Tinubu
Tinubu insists on visit as Qatar turns down President’s request

Qatar has rejected an investment forum trip of President Bola Tinubu to the Arab country.

The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja stated this in a letter dated February 22 2024 and addressed to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria.

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The visit of the President to Qatar was scheduled for March 2 and 3, 2024.

But in the letter, which was received by the ministry on February 23 2024 and sighted by our correspondent on Saturday, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar apologised for the rejection of the proposed business visit.

“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 March 2 and 3, 2024 and with reference to your note: Ref: ME.631 2024 dated 12/02/2024, which proposed the holding of a business and investment forum on the margins of Mr President’s visit to Qatar on March 2, 2024.

“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,” part of the letter read.

The embassy explained that “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.”

However, the Presidency said the Qatari government did not snub Tinubu.

It explained that the botched investment forum between the Nigerian and Qatari business communities was only one of several events lined up ahead of the President’s state visit to the Gulf country.

“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,” a statement signed by Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, on Saturday read.

Onanuga, in a statement titled, ‘President Bola Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar,’ in response to a leaked note between the foreign ministries of both countries explained that Tinubu was expected to proceed to Qatar on the state visit as scheduled and during the visit, the Nigerian leader would engage in high-level bilateral discussions with Qatari leader on many important matters, covering the full range of diplomatic and economic issues.

The Presidency 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 March 2 and 3, 2024.

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

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