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Buhari urges UAE to lift visa ban on Nigerians



President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to lift the visa ban on Nigerians.

The Gulf State in October last year imposed a visa ban on Nigerians following a diplomatic row between the two countries.

The president, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made the appeal in a telephone conversation with the UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President Buhari had called Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Emir of Dubai, to commiserate with him on the death of his mother-in-law, Maryam Al Falasi.

He urged the UAE leader to review the visa ban in the interest of both countries.

The Nigerian leader also called for the resumption of the Emirates Airlines flight operation in the country.

The airline suspended its flight operation to Nigeria last year over trapped funds.

READ ALSO: UAE visa ban on Nigerians, other African nations a consequence of bad leadership – Aisha Yesufu

The statement read: “The president requested his UAE counterpart to review the blanket visa ban imposed on Nigerians intending to travel to the UAE, recalling that mutually beneficial excellent relations have subsisted between the two nations over many years, symbolized by robust economic interactions and regular consultations on matters of common interest, including engagements at the highest political levels.

He noted that recent irritants in bilateral relations generated by consular issues relating to the behaviour of some Nigerians in the UAE are being ironed out, explaining that no country including Nigeria will condone criminalities and illegal behaviours.

“President Buhari, therefore, expressed the readiness of the Government of Nigeria to apply necessary sanctions through appropriate judicial process against anyone identified to have committed criminal acts in the UAE, urging that the issue be allowed to be handled by the relevant security/intelligence agencies of the two countries and to come up with lasting solutions to the problems associated with criminalities and illegalities.”

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