New Indian deputy chief of mission vows support for NRIs

Updated 11 August 2014
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New Indian deputy chief of mission vows support for NRIs

Newly appointed Indian Deputy Chief of Mission Hemant Kotalwar has vowed to support non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the Kingdom and commended the Indian Embassy’s hard work during the legalization grace period.
Kotalwar’s statements came on Monday, in which the newly stationed diplomat said he drew inspiration from the hard work of volunteers and social workers during that period.
“We would like to keep up the spirit of enthusiasm for the welfare of the Indian community living in the Kingdom,” he told Arab News during his first meeting with the local media after taking charge.
“The meticulousness with which the mission worked under the experienced leadership of our ambassador, Hamid Ali Rao, in handling urgent issues during the amnesty period reflected a sense of perfection that has always inspired me,” said Kotalwar.
“I recall that period of great cooperation and synergy every time I read about the ongoing nationalization campaign in the papers.”
“I had also been told that the media had fully cooperated with the mission in spreading awareness campaigns among community members and helping people follow up on the status of their paperwork,” he said.
“I thank each one of you for your support to the embassy and for your efforts in assisting our brothers and sisters in taking advantage of the grace period,” said the deputy head of mission, adding that he would soon meet the core group of volunteers and social workers for future cooperation.
The new chargé d’affaires thanked Saudi authorities for the grace period and their humanitarian approach during the nationalization campaign.
“For many, going back to India was a dream come true since many of these expats had been trying to return back home for several years,” he said.
This is no small achievement for the mission and the community, he added.
Kotalwar, an engineering graduate, joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1996.
He has served at the Indian missions in Brussels, Algiers and at the permanent mission of India to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva during his eighteen-year career, after which he came to Riyadh.
This is Kotalwar’s first appointment to the Middle East.
His last posting in Geneva lasted from July 2011 to June 2014.
He also served as undersecretary at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi and as regional passport officer in Mumbai from 2003 to 2008.
He is married to Seema and has one son, Aditya, and a daughter, Tejal.


Abdul-Mahdi: Relations between Iraq and GCC ‘must progress’

Updated 13 min 35 sec ago
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Abdul-Mahdi: Relations between Iraq and GCC ‘must progress’

  • Abdul-Mahdi and Al-Zayani discussed the development of relations between Iraq and GCC countries and issues of mutual interest
  • Abdul-Mahdi also attended the Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum, which included representatives from large Saudi companies

RIYADH: Relations between Iraq and the Gulf Cooperation Council are important and “must progress, ” Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said on Thursday.
On the second day of his visit to Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Mahdi met with the secretary general of the GCC, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani in Riyadh.
Abdul-Mahdi and Al-Zayani discussed the development of relations between Iraq and GCC countries and issues of mutual interest.
“Cooperation and economic relations must progress for the better,” Abdul-Mahdi said.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq have agreed to cooperate in security and intelligence matters, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim told Al Arabiya television. 
Meanwhile, Abdul-Mahdi also attended the Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum, which included representatives from large Saudi companies.
He also inaugurated an exhibition on Wednesday called “Cities Destroyed by Terrorism” that is showing at the National Museum in Riyadh. The exhibition was organised by the Minister of Culture and the Arab World Institute in Paris.
The Iraqi prime minister arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday for a two-day visit to the Kingdom. He held talks with King Salman on relations between the two countries, and later met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


His visit to the Kingdom “symbolizes the Iraqi government's vision in aiming to bolster ties with the Kingdom in all fields,” the Iraqi prime minister said on Facebook.
The two countries signed 13 agreements and memorandums of understanding between their various ministries. The deals covered many areas including energy, education, culture and political consultation.