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Indian embassy hosts open house, to enhance diaspora engagement

By Sajeev K Peter

KUWAIT: The Indian Embassy in Kuwait will hold open house sessions every Wednesday with a view to enhancing its engagement with the Indian diaspora and addressing its problems, said India’s new Ambassador to Kuwait Sibi George.

Addressing community members at the first open house at the embassy auditorium, the ambassador sought to reassure Indians in Kuwait that the embassy is reaching out to the community and working on solutions to their myriad problems.
George arrived in Kuwait in the first week of August and presented a copy of his credentials to Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah last week.
It was after a gap of many years that the embassy resumed open house sessions, in which around 100 Indians from various walks of life attended. In addition to the ambassador, the deputy chief of mission and officials from various embassy departments were also present.

The ambassador said he received thousands of emails from Indians in Kuwait and India over the last two weeks on various issues, in addition to comments, suggestions and queries on social media.
“These are difficult times and everyone is facing many difficulties. Let me tell you this – today I have a fair understanding of many of these topics,” he said. He mentioned some of the problems faced by Indians, such as Indians stranded in Kuwait and India, people who want travel documents, those who received travel documents but could not travel during the amnesty, people who face nonpayment of salaries and arrears, labor disputes, cheating by agents, loss of jobs and livelihood, loss of documents, those who do not have food, shelter and medicines, etc.

George discussed issues of Indian engineers and medical professionals with their representatives, who were present at the open house. “I do not have ready solutions for many of these issues. We will coordinate with the concerned authorities in Kuwait and India to find reasonable solutions,” he said.

He commended various Indian associations, voluntary organizations and social workers for their remarkable efforts in helping and supporting the community during the time of crisis. He said the embassy would seek ideas and suggestions from community members in addressing the priorities of the diaspora. However, the ambassador cautioned: “Let me remind you, there is absolutely zero tolerance in the embassy for any form of corruption, nepotism, favoritism, dishonesty, exploitation, fraud, prejudice, bias or partisanship.”
Speaking about Kuwait-India relations, George said he has been entrusted with the task of building on bilateral relations and India’s partnership with Kuwait, covering the entire spectrum of the relationship. He thanked HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for hosting the Indian community in Kuwait. He also thanked the Kuwaiti government and Kuwaiti friends of India for their support to the community during the pandemic. “Together we will work towards increasing our engagement and strengthening our partnership,” he concluded.

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