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Presidency denies Qatar rejected Buhari’s request to visit Doha

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The Presidency has denied reports that the State of Qatar rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to visit the country to hold bilateral talks with the Premier, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

According to reports, Buhari had in August, sent a request to visit the country between September 11-12, 2022, but his request was reportedly turned down.

Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu in a statement on Tuesday, said Buhari’s request to visit Qatar was put on hold due to the FIFA World Cup holding in the country from November 20 to December 18.

In the statement seeking to clarify the rejection of Buhari’s proposed visit, the Presidency said the Qatari government only raised concerns that the proposed visit dates were “too close to the upcoming World Cup”.

The statement added that the Asian country, however, asked the Nigerian leader to request another date in the first quarter of 2023.

Read also:Despite dwindling economy, Buhari increases DTA for ministers, Perm Secs, govt officials, civil servants

Part of the Presidency statement said:

“The visit to Qatar was not at the instance of Nigeria but on the invitation of His Majesty, the Emir who is the monarch.

“The Embassy of the State of Qatar on August 19th, 2022, wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, saying, ‘We have the honour to communicate that the proposed dates for the visit are not suitable and kindly request the Nigerian side to propose other dates for the visit during the first quarter of the year 2023.

“The Qataris explained that the dates chosen by Nigeria were too close to the World Cup tournament which is being hosted by them”.

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