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Nigeria Denies Recalling Top Diplomats From South Africa

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Nigeria has denied recalling its two top diplomats from South Africa in the wake of the attacks on foreigners in that country by locals.

President Goodluck Jonathan's spokesman, Reuben Abati and Nigeria's Foreign Minister both denied reports in the media that it recalled its top diplomats.

Abati told state house correspondents on Monday that there was a mix up and misinformation in the media concerning the issue.

“It is not true that Nigeria has recalled its envoy in South Africa on account of recent xenophobic attacks in that country. There is a mix up and misinformation on the matter. The truth is that Nigeria has not recalled her envoy from South Africa, Abati said.

“What has been done is to invite the Charge De Affairs in that country for routine consultation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Recall of envoy is a serious and sensitive matter and that has not happened,” he said.

Also in a statement Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali, said the two diplomats were invited for routine consultations over the xenophobic attacks and would return to SA.

Wali said that despite concerns of the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa including Nigerians, there were satisfactory indications that the South African authorities had taken firm measures to stem the tide of attacks.

“While there are continuing positive developments, both countries are discussion on the matter towards putting the unfortunate saga behind as soon as possible,” the Minister said.

The South African government in a weekend statement in reaction to media reports that Nigeria had recalled its High Commissioner and Deputy said the decision was “unfortunate and regrettable.”