Buhari, Ramaphosa agree to meet in South Africa over consular, trade issues

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa with President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, have agreed to meet in October to discuss issues relating to the wellbeing of their citizens and ways to further strengthen trade relations between the two largest African economies.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.

”In a telephone conversation with the South African leader at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, President Buhari accepted an invitation to visit the (South Africa) country,” the presidential aide said.

According to him, the two leaders will consider recurrent issues concerning the wellbeing of the Nigerian community in South Africa and the need to promote trade and investment.

Shehu also quoted an earlier letter of invitation by the South African President saying “Your visit will provide an excellent opportunity for our sister countries to further consolidate and advance our strategic partnership and cooperation on matters of peace, security and socio-economic development in our continent.

“We will discuss issues of mutual interest and concern in global governance.’’

Ramaphosa said the meeting would provide an opportunity to inaugurate a bi-national commission for both countries to “effect the strategic decisions taken in 2016 to elevate it to the level of Heads of State.’’

More than 120 Nigerians had so far been reported killed and their businesses destroyed in xenophobic attacks across South Africa over the years.

To this end, various groups including the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had been embarking on peaceful protests against against the frequent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

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