UAE is yet to lift visa ban on Nigeria – Presidency

In a significant diplomatic development, the Nigerian Presidency has officially announced that cabinet officials from both Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will join forces to finalize the terms of the visa ban lift agreement.

This crucial agreement stems from a high-profile meeting between President Bola Tinubu and the President of the UAE, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Let’s explore the details of this momentous event and its implications.

A Diplomatic Milestone

The discussions between President Tinubu and President Al Nahyan have yielded a diplomatic milestone – the immediate suspension of the visa ban that had been placed on Nigerian travelers. This move signifies a significant step towards restoring normalcy and strengthening relations between Nigeria and the UAE.

As a direct outcome of this breakthrough, both Etihad and Emirates Airlines are set to resume their flight schedules to and from Nigeria without any further delay. This is excellent news for travelers, businesses, and the broader economic ties between the two nations.

Cabinet-Level Collaboration

Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Tinubu, has highlighted the importance of collaboration at the cabinet level. Officials from both countries will now work together to iron out the finer details and finalize cross-sectoral agreements. This collaborative effort ensures that the agreement’s implementation proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

Diplomatic Dispute Resolution

The background to this agreement includes a visa ban that the UAE had imposed on nationals from approximately 20 African countries, including Nigeria, in October 2022. This ban had a significant impact on various African nations, with travel agents instructed to reject visa applications from these countries, except for those holding diplomatic passports. This had led to a diplomatic dispute between the UAE and Nigeria, with negotiations for the ban’s removal ongoing.

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The Role of Diplomacy

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had previously appealed to President Al Nahyan to lift the visa ban in February 2023. While the request was initially declined, the recent meeting between President Tinubu and President Al Nahyan has proven to be a game-changer. It demonstrates the power of diplomacy and dialogue in resolving complex international issues.

A Brighter Future

President Tinubu commended President Al Nahyan for his commitment to improving relations and cooperation between Nigeria and the UAE. This renewed commitment bodes well for the future of both nations, fostering stronger diplomatic ties and facilitating smoother interactions between their citizens.

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