n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will pay a three-day visit to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia starting from Friday, the first visit by an Indian foreign minister in the last five years, during which the kingdom's Nitaqat work policy, regional and international issues would be discussed. As many as 56,700 Indians face deportation from Saudi Arabia in the next one-and-half months and ten officials have been dispatched to the kingdom to help the Indian mission prepare emergency certificates for their exit, Khurshid said on Thursday. Khurshid's visit comes days after the trip of a high level Indian delegation, led by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, to the kingdom to discuss the Nitaqat law, under which is it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers. Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed and Advisor to Prime Minister TKA Nair were also part of the delegation that met Saudi Arabian Labour Minister Adel Fakieh last month to convey India's concern over the Nitaqat programme introduced eariler this year. The naturalisation law has led to concerns among Indian workers that it will lead to denial of job opportunities for them. Over 300,000 firms in Saudi Arabia reportedly do not employ any locals and the Nitaqat policy seeks to deal firmly with this. Under the new law, foreigners are allowed to only work for their legal sponsors and their spouses won't be allowed to take up jobs. Also, the expatriates cannot perform any job other than the one mentioned in their job cards. Saudi Arabia had last month given a three-month grace period to foreigner workers to regularise their status. Saudi Arabia on May 10 offered "some options for expatriate workers", said the external affairs ministry spokesperson. He said the number of Indian workers in Saudi Arabia are 2.8 million. He said both sides would try and ensure that Saudi policies "which are largely domestic in nature are implemented in a manner that takes into account the humanitarian needs of Indian nationals who are residents there". Energy cooperation would also be discussed. India imports 17 per cent of its oil from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia exports to India is worth $33 billion, while Indian exports to the kingdom are worth $9 billion. Both sides would discuss regional and international issues, including Syria. With Additional Inputs From IANS

Nine Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

from firstpost

Nine Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy

Rameswaram (TN): Nine fishermen from this coastal town were arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel whenthey were returning from the Palk Strait early this morning, a top official of Mechanised boat fi...


Libya: Toll continues to mount as rival militiamen clash in Benghazi

from firstpost

Libya: Toll continues to mount as rival militiamen clash in Benghazi

Cairo: Fierce clashes in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi between Islamist militiamen and rival forces loyal to a renegade general have killed 31 fighters on both sides, a security official said Tuesd...

Iran claims it has new surface-to-air missile, radars

from firstpost

Iran claims it has new surface-to-air missile, radars

Tehran: Iran on Tuesday unveiled a new surface-to-air missile and two radar systems it claims will boost the country's defense capabilities.Air defense chief Gen. Farzad Esmaili said the Talash-3, or ...

Putin's remarks on 'taking Kiev in 2 weeks' were taken out of context: Aide

from firstpost

Putin's remarks on 'taking Kiev in 2 weeks' were taken out of context: Aide

Moscow: A reported comment by President Vladimir Putin that Russia could capture Ukraine's capital Kiev within two weeks was taken out of context, Itar-Tass news agency quoted a Kremlin foreign policy...

India an important global player, says US before impending Modi visit

from firstpost

India an important global player, says US before impending Modi visit

Washington: India is going to be a "very important" player globally and the stronger it becomes, the more beneficial it will be for world peace, a senior ObamaAdministration official has sa...

UN climate chief warns 'door closing' on global warming fix

from firstpost

UN climate chief warns 'door closing' on global warming fix

Wellington: UN climate change chief Christiana Figueres on Tuesday warned time was running out for meaningful action on global warming, citing the plight of low-lying Pacific nations facing ever risin...

Fire at Chatterjee International building in Kolkata due to short circuit, say officials

from firstpost

Fire at Chatterjee International building in Kolkata due to short circuit, say officials

Kolkata: The fire which broke out on Tuesday morning at the 24-storey Chatterjee International building near Park Street in Kolkata is now under control, fire officials said. Officials added that elec...