Buhari Departs Makkah For UK On 2-week Private Visit


President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday departed Makkah through Abdulaziz International Airport Jeddah for United Kingdom after he successfully performed the Lesser Hajj. The President left Makkah for Jeddah at about 1.30pm (local time) while his presidential aircraft left at 3.05pm for London.

Before his departure, all the airport protocol led by Mayor of Jeddah, Almeer bin Abdallah bin Jalawi were observed.

Akelicious reports that before performing the Umrah, President Buhari had attended three-day Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh from Oct. 29, to Oct. 31.

The President While in Riyadh on Wednesday held bilateral talks with King Salman in Riyadh, during which both leaders committed to deeper partnership especially in the areas of oil and gas for the development of both countries. On Thursday, the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, paid President Buhari a courtesy visit at his hotel room at The Ritz Carlton. The prince called for the establishment of Nigeria-Saudi Council aimed at promoting investments and enhancing relations between both countries.

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He said that the council would be made up of government officials and business leaders from both countries and the areas of focus are: economic growth and development, investments in oil and non-oil sectors, and security cooperation. President Buhari and the Crown Prince agreed that the first assignment for the Council is to establish a legal and operational framework that will facilitate investments beneficial to both countries.

Spokesman of President Buhari, Garba Shehu said in a statement on Thursday, “The Council will be established in the next two months while meetings will be held twice every year. To ensure that relations between both countries remain active, it was also agreed that leaders of both countries, at the highest level, will meet at least once every year to review the progress of the joint council and ensure closer collaboration on issues of mutual interest.”

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President Buhari thanked the Crown Prince for the Kingdom’s interest in investing in Nigeria and the initiative to establish the Council which would form the foundation for a stronger Nigeria-Saudi relationship.

He also said, ‘‘Nigeria has a large population mainly made up of dynamic, young people and partnerships of this type will help them to be productive and prosperous.”

President Buhari also discussed international issues with the Prince. He shared the view of the Crown Prince that with the collapse of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the next frontier for terrorism is the Sahel region. President Buhari commended the concern by the Saudi authorities to make the issue of the security situation in Sahel a priority.

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President Buhari also met the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin in Riyadh and they discussed the new United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) which is an international investment in Nigeria.

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