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Statement by UAE Reveals No Mention Was Made on Lifting of Visa Ban

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A statement released by the government of The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has revealed that no mention was made on lifting the visa ban imposed on Nigerian travellers the the meeting its president, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had with his Nigerian counterpart, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday.

News has made the rounds after the meeting that the UAE visa ban on Nigerian travellers has been lifted following the intervention of Tinubu.

Tinubu had proceeded to Abu Dahbi, UAE capital, from India, where he attended the G-20 Summit.

In a statement on Monday, Presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, announced that the meeting with the UAE authorities was fruitful.

According to Ngelale, disputes on the visa ban slammed on Nigerian travellers 10 months ago, suspension of Etihad and Emirates flights were resolved at the meeting.

“President Bola Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalised a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travellers.”

“Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay,” Ngelale said.

However, Emirates News Agency, the official news agency of the UAE, reported that during the meeting, which took place at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, Nahyan renewed his congratulations to Tinubu on assuming the presidency, and wished him every success in leading Nigeria and its people to further progress and prosperity.

Below is the full statement issued by UAE:

 President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today met with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is on a working visit to the UAE.

During the meeting, which took place at Qasr Al Shati in Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed renewed his congratulations to Tinubu on assuming the presidency earlier this year, and wished him every success in leading Nigeria and its people to further progress and prosperity.

His Highness expressed his hope that the two leaders will work together to reinforce ties between the UAE and Nigeria for the benefit of both countries.

The UAE President and Nigerian President explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration in areas that serve both countries’ sustainable economic growth, including the economic, development, energy, and climate action fields.

The two sides also exchanged views on a number of regional and international developments of interest.

The meeting discussed the upcoming COP28 climate conference set to take place in the UAE later this year, with both parties stressing the vital importance of encouraging and enabling international cooperation to tackle global issues, including climate change.

His Highness underscored the UAE’s ongoing commitment to fostering ties with countries that share the same aspirations for stability, sustainable growth, and development and prosperity for their people. He further emphasised the particular importance the UAE attaches to its relationship with Nigeria, within the framework of its strategic vision for relations with the African continent.

The President of Nigeria expressed his pleasure to be visiting the UAE and affirmed his country’s keenness to further enhance bilateral cooperation to support sustainable development and progress in both countries.

The meeting was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; and Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The meeting was also attended by the delegation accompanying the Nigerian President, which included a number of ministers and high-ranking officials.

Daily Trust

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Middle East

Iran’s President, Raisi, Others, Die in Helicopter Crash

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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has died after a helicopter carrying him and other officials crashed in a mountainous and forested area of the country in poor weather.

The 63-year-old, a figure representing conservative and hardline factions in Iranian politics, was president for nearly three years, and appeared on track to run for re-election next year.

A former chief justice, Raisi was touted as a potential successor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the 85-year-old supreme leader of Iran.

He promised revenge against Israel after it levelled Tehran’s consulate building in Syria and killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals.

And he welcomed Iran’s response, which was to launch hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel, most of which were shot down by a coalition of Israeli allies – but left Iran claiming an overall success.

Raisi was born in Mashhad in northeastern Iran, a religious hub for Shia Muslims. He underwent religious education and was trained at the seminary in Qom, studying under prominent scholars, including Khamenei.

Also like the supreme leader, he wore a black turban, which signified that he was a sayyid – a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, a status with particular significance among Twelver Shia Muslims.

Aljazeera

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Middle East

Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Crashes, IRNA Begins Search

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, has been involved in an incident while he was visiting neighbouring Azerbaijan, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on X on Sunday according to CNN.

“Some of the president’s companions on this helicopter were able to communicate with Central Headquarters, raising hopes that the incident could have ended without casualties,” it added.

It is unclear what the exact status is of Raisi’s helicopter, CNN reports.

The helicopter was part of a convoy of three helicopters. Two of those helicopters were carrying ministers and officials who arrived at their destination safely, according to Tasnim.

“Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Al-Hashem, Tabriz’s Friday Prayer Imam, and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were also reportedly on the helicopter with the president,” Tasnim said on X.

Meanwhile, the IRNA, according to IRCG, has initiated a Search and rescue operation to locate the helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi and FM Amir-Abdollahian, which went down in the forest area of Dizmar between the villages of Uzi and Pir Dawood.

More than 20 rescue teams equipped with drones, search dogs, and full equipment, along with groups of rangers and special armed forces, have been dispatched to the site.

The area, located north of Varzeghan in East Azarbaijan province, is difficult to access, and adverse weather conditions, including thick fog, complicate the search efforts.

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Africa

Info Analytics Poll: Mahama Gaps Bawumia by 20% Votes

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With nine months before the next General election in Ghana, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. John Dramani Mahama, is commanding a 20 per cent lead over his closest rival, Dr. Mahamudu Bawunia of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

This was revealed in a new poll conducted by research agency, Global Info Analytics.

The poll show that over 50 per cent of Ghanaians has expressed interest to vote Mahama as against nearly 35 per cent for the incumbent vice president.

Other candidates in the election shared the remaining percentage of a little over 15 per cent.

The Ghana election is expected to hold on December 7.

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