Nigerian President Tinubu to Meet UAE Leadership in Bid to Resolve Diplomatic Dispute

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is set to engage in talks with the leadership of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in an effort to resolve a lingering diplomatic dispute between the two nations. The UAE authorities imposed a visa ban on Nigerians in October 2022, prompting a series of retaliatory actions and suspensions.

The diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and the UAE escalated when the UAE imposed a visa ban on Nigerians, coinciding with the suspension of flights between the two countries. Nigeria’s national carrier, Air Peace, also suspended its flights to Dubai, mirroring the UAE’s decision to halt visa issuance to prospective Nigerian travelers.

Emirates, a major international airline, suspended its flights to Nigeria citing difficulties in repatriating funds as the reason for its decision. The situation prompted President Tinubu to direct a resolution during his meeting with Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria at Aso Rock last month.

During the meeting, President Tinubu emphasized the need to resolve the issues swiftly and amicably, characterizing the situation as a “family problem” that should be addressed cooperatively. He expressed his readiness to personally intervene in the matter to ensure a resolution.

In a recent announcement, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Presidential spokesman, revealed President Tinubu’s upcoming meeting with UAE authorities to address the dispute. Ngelale stated, “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 is expected to build upon previous discussions held during the visit of the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria at the State House in Abuja. The President’s agenda also includes advancing investment promotion objectives in high-level discussions with both public and private sector officials in the UAE.

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This diplomatic move follows President Tinubu’s recent participation in the G-20 Summit, where he actively engaged in investment promotion efforts on the sidelines of the event. After the bilateral engagement in the UAE, President Tinubu is scheduled to return to Abuja, Nigeria.

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