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Qatar backtracks, agrees to Tinubu’s investment forum

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The State of Qatar has finally agreed to host President Bola Tinubu’s proposed business and investment roundtable during his March 2, 2024, visit to the Arab Kingdom.

Qatar made this choice after a leaked memo on Saturday revealed that it had denied the proposed investment roundtable.

The country cited the unavailability of its Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, as a reason for the fall.

Furthermore, the Embassy of Qatar in Abuja stated that there was no agreement between the Arabian country and Nigeria regarding the investment forum.

It was previously claimed that the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja indicated this in a note verbale dated February 22, 2024, delivered to the Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria.

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However, in a message verbale received by the ministry on February 23, 2024, and viewed by our correspondent on Saturday, Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry apologised for rejecting the proposed business visit.

Reacting to the purported rejection, the Presidency stated that the Qatari government did not reject Tinubu.

It stated that the bungled investment roundtable between the Nigerian and Qatari business communities was just one of several events planned ahead of the president’s state visit to the Gulf nation.

“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, read.

However, in an unexpected turn of events, the Qatari administration confirmed in a letter verbale obtained by our correspondent on Sunday that the business meeting will take place during Tinubu’s visit to the nation.

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The memo verbale, dated February 25, 2024, was written to Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Qatar embassy said, “Regarding the upcoming state visit of H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to Qatar from 2nd-3rd March 2024 and with reference to our note: Ref: QEA/FA/057/24 dated 22/02/2024, regarding holding of a Business and Investment Forum on the margins of Mr. President’s visit to Qatar on 2nd March 2024.

“The Embassy has the honour to convey that the Qatar Chamber of Commerce will host the above-mentioned event on March 3, 2024, as proposed by the Nigerian side.”

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