The Federal Government, on Monday, denied the media report that it has recalled its two ambassadors serving in South Africa.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Wali, while reacting to the media report in a statement made available by the Public Communications Division in the ministry, clarified that the ambassadors were only summoned for routine consultation.
“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Bashir Wali, mi, CON, wishes to reaffirm that the statement earlier issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was to summon, for routine consultation, the Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to South Africa and the Consul General in Johannesburg over the xenophobic attacks on some foreigners, including Nigerians, in South Africa,” he said.
The minister described the move as “a usual practice in the conduct of diplomacy.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate that the two senior diplomats have been invited to come for consultation after which they would return to their duty posts,” he added.
Wali stressed that the envoys “have, therefore, not been recalled as erroneously portrayed in the media.”
He assured that the Nigerian and South African governments are in serious discussion on the matter and are determined to put the unfortunate saga speedily behind them.
“Much as the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs and the generality of Nigerians are deeply concerned about the xenophobic attacks, there are satisfactory indications that the South African authorities have taken firm measures to stem the tide of attacks,” the statement concluded.