Diplomatic missions praise king for extending grace period

Diplomatic missions praise king for extending grace period
Updated 03 July 2013

Diplomatic missions praise king for extending grace period

Diplomatic missions praise king for extending grace period

The extension of the grace period till Nov. 3 has brought joy to expatriates residing in various cities across the Kingdom. Telephone and mobile lines were busy, as people called or texted the news to family and friends.
Consul generals across the spectrum of countries hailed the decision stating that it was a magnanimous and humanitarian gesture on the part of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. They, however, also voiced a word of caution that procedures need to be accelerated in the passport offices and deportation centers, or else the very purpose of the four-month extension would be defeated.
Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, terming the extension as a noble gesture, said, “India welcomes this humanitarian move from the Saudi government. Undocumented Indians in Saudi Arabia should avail of the opportunity at the earliest and not wait for the pace of work at passport offices to improve.”
Pakistan Consul General Aftab Ahmed Khokar said, “The decision reflects the humanitarian vision of King Abdullah. It is a second opportunity for illegal expatriates to leave or correct their status. Pakistan is thankful to Saudi Arabia for such great help.”
Appreciating the role played by the media and the Saudi business community through the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), he singled out JCCI Vice Chairman Mazen Batterjee for the role he played as a mediator between the expatriate communities and the Saudi authorities.
Bangladesh Consul General Mohammad Nazmul Islam described the announcement as happy news for every single expatriate in the Kingdom. “Bangladesh wishes to express its gratitude to King Abdullah as the entire expat community is pleased with the development. We at the consulate are also relieved since we now have some breathing space, and hope that progress at the passport offices will move at a brisk pace,” he said.
Sri Lankan Consul General Adambawa Uthumalebbe thanked King Abdullah and said, “I hope there will be a review of the processing in the Passport Offices since only 2,400 of the 9,657 applicants’ papers could be put in order for exit.”
Philippine Consul General Uriel Normal Garibay, expressing gratitude to King Abdullah, said, “It’s a relief for Filipino expatriates, we have 11,500 OFWs who want to correct their status, while another 6,000 wish to return home. In the first phase of the grace period, a majority of them couldn’t complete formalities in the passport offices. We hope there will be some changes to quicken the procedures, and we will also see how we can be of better service.”
Indonesian Consul General Nur Ibrahim said, “Indonesia is very happy with the extension of the grace period, and we hope that in the second phase, there would be an improvement in the functions of the deportation centers and passport offices. The Indonesian Consulate has received 84,000 applications, and this figure will go up after yesterday’s announcement.
Nepal Ambassador Uday Raj Pandey thanked King Abdullah and said, “The Nepalese Embassy is confident it will achieve its objectives now that the grace period has been further extended. I hope the passport authorities will also expedite the procedures to ensure that all goes smoothly during the extension period.”