By ISMAILA CHAFE
Abuja- President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Thursday on condolence visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Buhari will meet with the new President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to convey his condolences on the passing of the former president and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the presidential aide, the Nigerian leader will also extend his congratulations to the new President, renewing bonds of the longstanding friendship between Nigeria and the UAE.
The president, in an earlier congratulatory message to the new UAE leader, had reaffirmed Nigeria’s cordial relationship with the country.
He noted that the cooperation between both governments have helped Nigeria in tracking down illegal assets and tracing terrorist funds.
According to Buhari, under the new leadership, he looks forward to a bigger and stronger partnership for peace, stability and prosperity of both countries.
The president will be accompanied by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.
Other members of his delegation are the National Security Adviser, retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai.
The President is expected back in the country on Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Khalifa died on may 13th at the age of 73.
He was president of the UAE since 2004.
Abu Dhabi, which holds most of the Gulf state’s oil wealth, has held the presidency since the founding of the UAE federation by Sheikh Khalifa’s father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1971. (NAN)