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HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah's visit to India begins today
November 7, 2013, 10:28 am

New Delhi terms HH Prime Minister Jaber visit as historic; confident to upgrade ties to strategic level

India is attaching great significance to the visit of Kuwait Prime Minister His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah's to New Delhi beginning today and is positive that the relation between the two nations would be upgraded from buyer seller to that of a strategic level.

At a specialty called briefing, Joint secretary Gulf in the External Affairs Ministry Mridul Kumar said the three day high profile visit of Prime Minister is expected to lead to enhancing of ties in diverse sectors including in energy security, trade and investment will be discussed.

“India and Kuwait have shared long historical past as Indian currency was in vogue in Kuwait as late as 1961.  Indian has partnered the oil rich nation by providing manpower skills to the country ambitious development plan”.

"It is a very special visit for us," Kumar said. It will be the first head of government-level visit from Kuwait to India since the post of Crown Prince and Prime Minister was bifurcated in the Gulf nation in 2003. The last high-level visit to Kuwait from India was in 1981 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had gone there.

Kumar said India was interested in having joint ventures with Kuwait in petro chemicals and fertiliser sectors and could also jointly work to set up projects elsewhere.

During his three days visit, the Prime Minister would be meeting President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Indian PM Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed, and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma

Sheikh Jaber, who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising ministers, senior officials and captains of industry, will also meet Indian businessmen at a special luncheon meeting by the trade bodies.

Meanwhile downplaying concerns over deportation of illegal Indian workers in Gulf countries including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, India today said it is an opportunity to correct their work status

The issue is likely to figure during the talks Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah will have with top leadership here during his three-day visit

"I think it is good for our people that they are sent back rather than put into jails," Joint Secretary (Gulf Region) Mridul Kumar said, adding that actions are being taken only against those found violating the laws of the respective countries.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi had earlier said that around 1.34 lakh Indians have already come back from Saudi Arabia after the country launched a strict inspection campaign to target illegal foreigners earlier this year and the extended deadline expired on November 3.

Kumar said 4,500 to 5,000 Indians have been sent back by Kuwait this year which is less than last year's figure.

"When you have got a huge expatriate population within your country, it is a very sovereign right of a sovereign nation to decide what kind of treatment people who are in violation of their law would meet," said Kumar.

MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said this was an opportunity for illegal workers to leave those countries without facing any major penalty and correct their work status.


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