India helping Nitaqat-hit expats

Updated 29 April 2013
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India helping Nitaqat-hit expats

Saudi Arabia and India have agreed to set up a joint panel “to evolve mechanism” for addressing problems faced by Indian workers hit by the Nitaqat scheme in Saudi Arabia.
The first meeting of the joint panel, which will also discuss ways and means to maximize the availability of alternative jobs for affected workers, will be held in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference after holding talks with Minister of Labor Adel Fakeih in Jeddah yesterday, Indian Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi, said: “The Indian side has conveyed its concerns to the Saudi officials, who have assured all possible support.”
He said Saudi Deputy Minister for Labor Affairs Ahamed Al-Humaidan and Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of India Sibi George would cochair the panel. He said the two sides have also agreed to expedite the long-awaited MoU for labor cooperation between the two countries.
The delegation also met Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.
Ravi, who is accompanied by E. Ahamed, India's minister of state for external affairs and T.K.A. Nair, adviser to the Indian prime minister, said: “A joint working group, set up for expediting the labor agreement, will meet next month in New Delhi.” He said the Kingdom and India would also work closely to make the process of recruitment of workers more transparent, which is in the interest of both the workers and the employers.
Ravi, who is leading a “goodwill delegation,” said the visit was also aimed at briefing the Indian community on the steps taken by India for the rehabilitation of the returning Indians.
He said the Indian delegation did not discuss amnesty for illegal Indians. He reminded the Indian community that they are living in a foreign land where one must respect and obey law of the land. He urged Indian workers to regularize their living and working status within the three-month grace period.
He said that Huroob is a complex and sensitive issue that involves several aspects from the Saudi side.
Nair said Saudi Arabia is India’s strategic partner and both countries share broader range of interest than manpower. He praised Indian diplomatic missions in Jeddah and Riyadh for their efforts to serve the community with limited resources.


King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

Updated 30 min 15 sec ago
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King Salman attends closing ceremony of King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near Riyadh

RIYADH: King Salman on Saturday attended the closing ceremony of the 3rd King Abdul Aziz Camel Festival near the capital Riyadh.

The king was received on his arrival by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, and a number of officials.

The king welcomed Kuwait’s Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s representative Sheikh Saad bin Mohammed Al-Saadi, Kyrgyz Premier Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev, representative of the King of Bahrain for Charity Works and Youth Affairs Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and other guests at the camel festival’s closing ceremony. The king then handed prizes to winners of the festival. King Salman and the attendees also watched a folk dance performance.

Saudi Camel Club Chairman Fahd bin Falah bin Hithlin said that the king’s patronage of the closing ceremony was the culmination of efforts to organize the festival and consolidate its heritage.