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Nigeria And Saudi Arabia may loose diplomatic ties

Reason Why Nigeria And Saudi Arabia May Become Enemies Before End Of 2023

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Nigeria and Saudi Arabia may become perpetual enemies before the end this 2023 if what happened last Monday continues.

It should be noted that diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have come under scrutiny after 177 Nigerians were refused entry into Saudi Arabia on Monday.

According to Nigeria’s foreign ministry, only 87 of 264 Nigerian nationals who landed in Jeddah on an Air Peace flight on Monday were allowed to enter Saudi Arabia. The remaining numbers had their visas cancelled and were deported immediately.

Local media said some of the passengers were pilgrims who went to perform the lesser Hajj (the Umrah) in Mecca, the Islamic holy city.

However, this mass visa cancellation occurred as president Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria was still in Saudi Arabia after holding bilateral talks with the Saudi government.

After being called out on social media, Saudi Arabian embassy in Nigeria said that the deported passengers “didn’t fulfill the entry conditions and requirements in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Kingdom, as they submitted incorrect information to obtain a category of visa that doesn’t apply to them, which was discovered upon their arrival.”

Saudi Arabia requires pilgrims to hold specific travel documents (Umrah or Hajj visas) for pilgrimage. Holders of tourist visas are barred from performing Hajj or Umrah during the Hajj season, according to regulations by the country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.

But it is not immediately clear what type of visas the deported Nigerians had traveled with. However, Air Peace, the Nigerian carrier that flew the Nigerians into Jeddah said it was “shocked” that the visas of its passengers were revoked by Saudi Arabia on arrival because it “strictly followed the profiling procedures stipulated by Saudi Arabian authorities.”

“The visas of all the passengers on the said flight to Jeddah … were checked and verified through the requisite procedures and were vetted to be valid before departure,” the airline said in a statement Wednesday, adding that: “No notice of cancelation or any form of denial from the Saudi authorities was received against any of these passengers despite the live transmission of their details.”

The Saudi statement added the cancellations were not limited to Nigerian citizens, adding that: “… all passengers should review all the documents to determine their conformity with the conditions prior to departing from their countries to the Kingdom.”

People that reacted said the incident was a big embarrassment to Nigeria especially as her president was still in the country after attending the Saudi-Africa Summit held last Friday. He left Thursday morning for Guinea Bissau for Independence Day celebrations, the presidency said.

“This is obviously a very big diplomatic slap in the face,” Victor Okhai, an advisory board member of the African Diaspora Foundation, a group that advocates the welfare of the African diaspora, told CNN.

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Source: CNN.Com

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