India and Kuwait have signed an MoU that brings Indian domestic workers in the Gulf nation within the ambit of a legal framework that streamlines their recruitment and provides them with the protection of the law.
The MoU was signed on Thursday by Indian Ambassador Sibi George and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Majdi Ahmad Al-Dhafiri in the presence of visiting External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah.
Mr Jaishankar arrived in Kuwait on his first bilateral visit to the Gulf nation early on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Kuwait City.
The MoU brings the Indian domestic workers in Kuwait within the ambit of a legal framework that streamlines their recruitment and provides them with the protection of the law.
Both ministers welcomed the signing of the MoU which will introduce an employment contract ensuring the rights and obligations of both the employer and the domestic workers.
The MoU seeks to establish a mechanism for 24-hour assistance to domestic workers. It provides for the establishment of a joint committee for periodic review and assessment and to follow up the implementation of the MoU which will conduct annual meetings.
Around one million (ten lakh) Indians reside in Kuwait. India is amongst the largest trading partners of Kuwait and the Gulf nation is a major supplier of oil to India.
Mr Jaishankar on Thursday called on Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
He handed over to him a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed to Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
The visiting minister thanked the leadership for Kuwait’s prompt supply of liquid medical oxygen and other oxygen-related supplies to India to fight the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Both sides discussed the state of bilateral relations and also the developments in the region.
Mr Jaishankar’s visit comes at the invitation of his Kuwaiti counterpart and is part of the enhanced high-level political exchanges in the context of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kuwait.
The visiting minister held talks with his counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah.
Both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional developments and global issues.
They also discussed the challenges posed by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the distress it caused to humanity and reiterated their commitment to jointly fight the pandemic and address the myriad of issues that their citizens face such as travel restrictions and issues related to vaccination.
The topics covered also included food security, cybersecurity, cooperation in the energy sector and issues related to the Indian workforce in Kuwait.
Both sides agreed to hold the first India-Kuwait Joint Commission meeting later this year and also to set dates for early meetings of the Joint Working Groups on health, hydrocarbon and manpower. The two sides also agreed to set up new joint working groups in other areas of cooperation.
The joint celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kuwait were launched at the meeting.
The year-long celebrations will continue through 2021-2022. In the evening, Mr Jaishankar chaired a round-table conference of Indian ambassadors in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Iran.
The GCC is a political and economic alliance of six countries Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.
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