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Indian Expats Will Not Lose Their Jobs Due to Blockade, Says Qatar Foreign Minister

Qatar has been struggling with an economic blockade led by Saudi-Arabia over its alleged backing to terror outfits. There are over 6 lakh Indians in Qatar with a majority from the state of Kerala.

Maha Siddiqui | CNN-News18

Updated:August 30, 2017, 2:59 PM IST
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New Delhi: It's nearly three months that Qatar has been struggling with an economic and political blockade led by Saudi-Arabia over its alleged backing to terror outfits like Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. It had triggered a sense of uncertainty in the expat community over possible job losses. But Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani has assured India on his recent visit that jobs will not be politicised. While speaking to News 18 he said "expats will not be affected by the blockade," adding that no one will be "substituting expat employees".

There are over 6 lakh Indians in Qatar with a majority from the state of Kerala. In the wake of the differences within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in June, India had said in a statement that, the "government is closely monitoring the situation and is also in regular contact with the regional countries. Their authorities have assured us continued support for welfare and well-being of the resident Indian communities."

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had called the blockade "an internal matter of GCC". She had pointed out that New Delhi's "only concern is about Indians there. We are trying to find out if any Indians are stuck there."

The MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted a picture of the delegation level meeting on Saturday saying "bilateral issues, including welfare of Indian workers in Qatar were discussed." The Qatari Foreign Minister while speaking to News 18 admitted to some problems cropping up with regards to remittances in the early days of the blockade but the matter being sorted out soon. He also stressed how food supplies were not majorly impacted even though Qatar is hugely dependent on exports. The foreign minister said that he could safely say employment of expatriates with state and state-owned firms will not be politicised and impacted.

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