Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

Updated 27 May 2015
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Oman to deport over 1,000 expats

MUSCAT: Oman plans to deport over 1,000 foreigners found to be working illegally on a multi-billion dollar project to expand Muscat International Airport, in a sign of tensions between its labor policy and its big infrastructure building plans.
“The companies for which these illegal workers were working will be fined and the workers will be deported,” Salim bin Said Al-Badi, director-general of labor welfare at the Ministry of Manpower, was quoted as saying this week by local media.
Times of Oman said the laborers were employed to build a new terminal at the airport, but did not have the necessary work permits for the construction sector. Instead, they held visas to work in restaurants, coffee shops and barber shops, and as tailors and housemaids.
The media reports said at least some of the workers were from Bangladesh, but did not give details or name the companies involved.
There are over 1.5 million foreign workers in Oman, many of them from south and southeast Asia; they far outnumber the Omani citizens working in the private sector.
The government wants to limit the number of foreigners, in order to make more jobs available for Omanis and reduce the amount of wages remitted abroad.
The Al Shabiba daily quoted Minister of Transport and Communications Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Futaisi as saying the deportations would not delay the planned completion of the airport project by the end of 2016.


US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

Updated 20 April 2019
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US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!,” Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.
The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.
It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.
The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.