Repatriation of expats from Saudi Arabia gathers pace

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A handout picture provided by the Embassy of India in Riyadh on May 8, 2020 shows Indian expats inside a plane upon their departure at King Fahad International airport heading to Kozhikode. (AFP)
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A handout picture provided by the Embassy of India in Riyadh on May 8, 2020 shows Indian expats queueing up at departure section in King Fahad International airport heading to Kozhikode. (AFP)
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Updated 09 May 2020

Repatriation of expats from Saudi Arabia gathers pace

  • The embassy and the consulate received about 60,000 registrations from the Indian community

RIYADH: The repatriation of expatriates from Saudi Arabia has gathered pace, in coordination with authorities, embassies and airlines.
The Indian Embassy began its repatriation mission on Friday, sending back citizens who had been stranded in the Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first flight from Saudi Arabia for the evacuation of Indian nationals has departed from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh,” the embassy said.
The flight was headed to Kozhikode, in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It carried 152 passengers, including four infants. The passengers mainly consisted of stranded workers and medical cases, including pregnant women.
All passengers were screened for COVID-19 prior to boarding.
The next scheduled flight is from Riyadh to New Delhi on May 10, followed by a flight from Dammam to Kochi on May 12. There are two flights from Jeddah to destinations in Kerala later in the week.
Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said that flights to additional destinations in India were being explored.
The embassy and consulate prepared the manifests of repatriation flights based on the database for online registration that was launched on April 29.
“We have prioritized individuals on the basis of exigencies, such as distressed workers, urgent medical cases, pregnant women, stranded Umrah pilgrims, among others,” the ambassador said.
The embassy and the consulate received about 60,000 registrations from the Indian community.
The repatriation process would take time, he said, and they were targeting 1,000 Indians in this first phase.
Pakistani missions in Saudi Arabia have also started repatriating stranded nationals, with the first two flights taking off from Riyadh and Jeddah on May 1.
The British Embassy has been helping its nationals in Saudi Arabia who urgently needed to return to the UK. “Our ninth flight for British nationals and residents in the  Kingdom has departed from Riyadh. We thank Saudi Arabian Airlines and the Saudi government for helping Brits get home to their families,” UK Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Neil Crompton tweeted.
Priority was given to Britons visiting Saudi Arabia on short-stay visas, those most at risk from COVID-19, NHS workers and those based far away from airports who might struggle to access future flights.


King Salman: G20 provided $11 trillion to overcome effects of COVID-19 pandemic under Saudi Arabia’s presidency

Updated 7 min 21 sec ago

King Salman: G20 provided $11 trillion to overcome effects of COVID-19 pandemic under Saudi Arabia’s presidency

  • King Salman said the Kingdom’s G20 presidency was keen to listen to various recommendations through ministerial meetings and working groups of G20

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency has contributed about $11 trillion to protect the global economy with a clear commitment and determination to do “whatever is necessary” to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech read in behalf of King Salman during the handover the final communique of B20 Summit, investment minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Kingdom’s G20 presidency also pledged $21 billion to support the production, distribution, and availability of diagnostic and treatment tools, medicines and vaccines, a report from state news agency SPA said.
King Salman likewise said the Kingdom’s G20 presidency was keen to listen to various recommendations through ministerial meetings and working groups of G20, the report added.
“I would like to thank Business Group 20 and its partners from all countries of the world for their efforts during this exceptional period,” according to King Salman, adding that the goal of the Kingdom’s presidency of G20 is to “seize the opportunities of twenty-first century for all.”
“We cannot talk about “shaping new frontiers” in the G20 without discussing innovative solutions that contribute to developing the financial infrastructure, improving of the global trade systems, protecting of the private sector, restoring capital flows to emerging markets, and harnessing the digital economy tools that help us reach the desired financial inclusion during various circumstances,” King Salman said.
King Salman’s speech likewise lauded the “resilience and strength of the Saudi economy” amid the coronavirus pandemic and reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to “increasing growth and prosperity levels through empowerment and investments in new sectors; especially the sectors that will lead the global recovery and protect countries from future pandemics.”