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Qatar rejects Tinubu’s visitation request for business forum

President Bola Tinubu’s request to visit Qatar for a business and investment forum has been declined by Qatari authorities.

In a letter to the ministry of foreign affairs on Thursday, the Qatari government cited the absence of a legally binding agreement between Qatar and Nigeria for promoting investment as the reason for the rejection.

Additionally, Qatar mentioned prior commitments of its ministry of commerce on the proposed visit dates of March 2 and 3.

“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 Nigerian side” because “there is no any agreement signed between the State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Investment Promotion and Protection,” the letter sent to the foreign affairs ministry on February 22 stated.

The Gulf nation further stressed that its commerce and industry minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim al-Thani “will be carrying out official missions outside the country during the upcoming visit period” which makes him unavailable to meet with the Nigerian leader.

It added that its officials would be too busy because Qatar was hosting its own “web summit” the same time Mr Tinubu planned to visit.

“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,” the letter indicated.

The Qatari government’s failure to reschedule the business forum to a more convenient period, perhaps, suggested its unwillingness to forge any economic alliance with Nigeria.

Last year, the United Arab Emirates authorities faulted an announcement that a visa ban on Nigerians had been lifted after Mr Tinubu visited the UAE leader, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

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