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Tinubu orders resolution of disputes with UAE over Emirates Airlines, visa issuance

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has requested that issues concerning relations with Emirates Airline and the issuance of visas to Nigerians be rectified “immediately.”

The President issued the directives today while receiving the UAE Ambassador, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, at the State House in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

At the State House, Tinubu received Letters of Credence from Al-Shamsi and two envoys. The other envoys are Awall Wagris Mohammed, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and Miriam Morales Palmero, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba.

Nigeria and the UAE have had a long history of limiting flights between the two nations due to unresolved disputes with the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA). Visa restrictions were later announced as a result of the diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and the UAE, a popular destination for Nigerian migrants and tourists.

According to Tinubu’s spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, the President has stated that he is willing to “personally” interfere in the diplomatic dispute between Nigeria and the UAE.

“We are a family with UAE, we only live in separate rooms, but we are in the same house. We should look at the issues as a family problem, and resolve it amicably. As you know in every family, there are peculiarities. You can have an erring son, or daughter, but we must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues,” the President was quoted as saying.

On his part, the UAE Ambassador said he already sees himself as a “Nigerian’’ considering the historical antecedents of the country, its long-standing leadership role in Africa, and its reputation for hospitality to strangers.

“Since I arrived in the country, I have been working on 24 agreements. We are getting somewhere. These are small issues, all within a family, and they will be resolved. I am grateful to be here in Nigeria.

“I am also very grateful to meet His Excellency, President Tinubu, who is a great leader in Nigeria, and Africa. Please accept me as a Nigerian and consider me a member of your team,” he appealed.

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