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Tinubu, Saudi Foreign Minister Confer Ahead of Saudi-Africa Summit

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, on Thursday said his country looks forward to hosting President Bola Tinubu at the Saudi Arabia-Africa summit holding later in October.

“We believe that our two countries can take the tremendous history that they have, and use it to move our relationship to greater heights. This was the message and we look forward to hosting the Saudi Arabia-African summit in the kingdom soon,” Adel Al-Jubeir told journalists after he emerged from a meeting with the President at the State House on Thursday.

Al-Jubeir who conveyed to Tinubu the greetings of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said they discussed bilateral relations and ways to “move Nigeria-Saudi relationship to greater heights.”

“We cooperate in virtually all areas we have very strong People-to-People ties. We are members of OPEC and we believe that we are cooperating very closely to deal with the challenges facing our world whether it’s climate change, sustainable development, combating extremism and terrorism, or promoting free trade and investments.

“Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have always supported each other and will continue to do so when we truly appreciate Nigeria’s support for Saudi Arabia’s hosting of Expo 2030 and the World Cup 2034.

“As I was saying, to my friend, Foreign Minister (Yusuf Tuggar), I have invited him to watch the World Cup with me in Saudi Arabia in 2034. Hopefully, the final match will be between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.”

Established in the 1960s, Nigeria-Saudi Arabian diplomatic relations are rooted in economic, cultural, and religious ties.

Over the decades, both countries have collaborated extensively in the oil and gas sector, given that both nations are prominent OPEC members.

The annual Hajj pilgrimage strengthens cultural and religious bonds, with thousands of Nigerians visiting Mecca each year.

Strategically, both nations have, over the years, engaged in dialogues focusing on regional security and stability, combating terrorism, and addressing mutual concerns.

They have also signed several MoUs to enhance cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, and technical assistance.

However, the relationship has faced challenges, including issues related to the welfare of Nigerian pilgrims and migrant workers in Saudi Arabia.

Source : PUNCH