In an attempt to pacify the diplomatic row between Nigeria and South Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa have signed new bilateral agreement to solidify the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
According to the Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, he said Nigeria and South Africa have agreed to issue 10 years visas to businessmen, academics and frequent travelers to boost bilateral relations between both countries. Mr Garba Shehu maintained that the decision was taken to encourage more people-to-people contacts among citizens of both countries and further strengthen socio-cultural, economic and political relations.
The diplomatic accord came following the xenophobic attacks on foreigners including Nigerians in South Africa. The two president met at the 9th Bi-National Commission of South Africa and Nigeria meeting in Pretoria to discuss way forward.
Other remarkable successes that came out of the Bi-National Commission meeting are:
Agreement on early warning signals to nip violence in the bud before it escalates, while taking into consideration the need to share more intelligence and promote stronger partnership in security.
Agreement to re-establish the consular forum, which is a structured arrangement where both governments meet regularly, at least twice in a year to discuss the welfare of citizens.
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor, signed the minutes of the 9th session of Bi-National Commission with the hope that it will revive back the dwindling relations caused by the xenophobic attacks
The 3-day diplomatic visit culminated with President Muhammadu Buhari visiting Nigerians in the South Africa and advising them to positively represent the country.