President Bola Tinubu’s invitation to visit Qatar for a business and investment forum has been denied.

In a February 22, 2024, letter to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Protocol Department, the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja made this statement.The president was supposed to visit Qatar on March 2 and 3, 2024.

However, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Qatar expressed regret in the letter—which our correspondent saw on Saturday—for turning down the suggested business visit.

The letter was received by the ministry on February 23, 2024.”The State of Qatar’s Embassy in Abuja extends its regards to the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Protocol Department.Referring to your note, Ref: ME.631 2024 dated 12/02/2024, which suggested holding a business and investment forum in conjunction with Mr. President’s visit to Qatar on March 2, 2024, and regarding the impending state visit of H. E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to Qatar on March 2 and 3, 2024.

An excerpt from the letter said, “The Embassy has the honor 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.”

“The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Qatar have not signed an agreement on investment promotion and protection,” the embassy clarified.”During the forthcoming visit period, His Excellency, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, will be conducting official missions outside the nation.

“During the suggested period, the State of Qatar will host a web summit, and the state’s authorities will be preoccupied with this event.”The Qatari government did not shun Tinubu, according to the Presidency.It clarified that a number of events were scheduled in advance of the President’s official visit to the Gulf nation, including the disastrous investment forum between the business communities of Qatar and Nigeria.

In a statement released on Saturday, Tinubu’s Special Advisor on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, wrote, “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.

“In response to a leaked note between the foreign ministries of both nations, Onanuga issued a statement titled “President Bola Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar,” in which he stated that Tinubu was expected to travel to Qatar on the scheduled state visit and that the Nigerian leader would hold high-level bilateral discussions with the Qatari leader on a wide range of significant issues, including diplomatic and economic ones.

“We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar between March 2 and 3, 2024,” the Presidency stated.

“The diplomatic document about an investment forum that was leaked by miscreants is not in any way a slight against President Tinubu by the government of Qatar.”

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