By Princess-Ekwi Ajide
Following the recent restrictions placed on Nigerians intending to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the outbreak of the Omicron Variant of COVID 19 across the globe, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, has met with the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi to brainstorm on the way forward.
Ambassador Dada, appealed to the Saudi Authority to as a matter of urgency review the travel restrictions it placed on Nigerians over the Omicron outbreak as already done by many countries who had earlier banned Nigeria but have since reversed their stance having studied the achievements of Nigeria so far in the fight against the Omicron Variant and the Corona Virus Pandemic in general.
He stressed that although Nigeria understands that the reason for the ban, was for the best interest of its citizens, but Saudi Arabia should consider that the steps taken so far by the Nigerian Authority to curtail the spread of the Omicron Variant have made it possible for many countries to see Nigeria as safe and removed it from the blacklist countries.
He commended the cordial relationship that has existed for years and continues to exist between the two countries, expressing optimism that there would be a timely response to Nigeria’s request and pledged that Nigeria will continue to give all necessary support and cooperation to the Ambassador in the discharge of his responsibility.
The Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Faisal bin Ebraheem Al-Ghamdi while responding to Nigeria’s request for the lifting of the travel ban, expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the government towards containing the spread of Omicron and promised to convey Nigeria’s message to the relant Authorities back home.
He said just like in Nigeria where there are bodies in charge of monitoring and the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia also has similar agencies that are responsible for monitoring and recommendations on the issues of corona.
Ambassador Al-Ghamdi thanked the Minister for his commitment towards improved bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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