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Telephone Conversation between PM and King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, New Delhi, 06 April 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation today with His Majesty Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis and its consequences, including on logistics chains and financial markets.
His Majesty the King assured Prime Minister of his personal attention to the welfare of the large Indian community in Bahrain, during the present health crisis. Prime Minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the care and affection that the Bahrain authorities have always extended to the Indian diaspora.
The leaders agreed that their officials would remain in regular touch and ensure all possible support to each other for dealing with the challenges of COVID-19.
Prime Minister conveyed to His Majesty the King that India regards Bahrain as an important part of its extended neighbourhood. He also warmly recalled his own visit to the Kingdom last year. Source: Embassy of India, Bahrain.
Telephone Conversation between PM and President of Egypt, New Delhi, 17 April 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on phone today with H.E. Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt.
The leaders discussed the evolving global situation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and exchanged information about the steps being taken by their respective governments to protect their populations. They agreed on the utility of continuous exchange of experiences and best-practices, in order to learn from each other.
Prime Minister assured the Egyptian President that India would provide all possible support to ensure availability of pharmaceutical supplies during these difficult times. He also thanked President El-Sisi for the support being provided to Indian citizens present in Egypt.
The two leaders agreed that their teams would remain in touch to ensure close coordination and experience-sharing. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Ambassador’s visit to Qom, Tehran, 05 April 2020.
Ambassador Gaddam Dharmendra, accompanied by senior officers of the Embassy, paid a day-long visit to Qom on 05 April, 2020. During the visit, he paid a courtesy call on Dr. Bahram Sarmast, the Governor of Qom, and expressed gratitude to him for the support and cooperation extended to all Indian pilgrims presently in Qom, including arrangements for COVID-19 infected pilgrims. Ambassador assured the Governor that all efforts will be made for the early return of the remaining pilgrims to India.
Ambassador later visited the quarantine facility specially set up for Indian pilgrims in Qom. He closely interacted with the pilgrims and enquired about their wellbeing. The pilgrims thanked the Government of India and the Embassy for their continued support towards them. Source: Embassy of India, Tehran.
Telephone conversation between Prime Minister and PM of Israel, new Delhi, 03 April 2020.
Prime Minister had a telephone conversation today with His Excellency Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel.
The two leaders discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the response strategies adopted by their respective Governments to the health crisis.
The leaders explored possible collaboration between India and Israel in fighting the pandemic, including by improving availability of pharmaceutical supplies and by innovative use of high technology. They agreed to maintain a focused channel of communication to explore such synergies.
H.E. Mr. Netanyahu agreed with the Prime Minister that the COVID-19 pandemic is an important turning point in modern history and offers an opportunity to forge a new vision of globalisation focused on the shared interests of humanity as a whole. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Telephone Conversation between PM and King of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, New Delhi, 16 April 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation today with His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Prime Minister conveyed his greetings to His Majesty and the people of Jordan for the forthcoming Holy month of Ramadan.
The two leaders discussed the challenges posed to the world by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the steps being taken in their respective countries to limit its impact. They agreed to support each other’s efforts to the maximum possible extent, by sharing information and best practices and by facilitating needed supplies.
Prime Minister thanked His Majesty for the support provided to the Indian citizens present in Jordan.
The leaders agreed that their teams would remain in touch on issues related to COVID-19, as well as on other regional and global issues. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Telephone conversation between Prime Minister and PM of Kuwait, New Delhi, 01 April 2020.
Prime Minister had a telephonic conversation today with His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait.
Prime Minister conveyed his greetings and best wishes for the good health of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, the Royal Family, and the people of Kuwait. He underlined the importance that India attaches to its relations with Kuwait, a valued member of India’s extended neighbourhood.
Both leaders discussed the domestic and international aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed that their officials would maintain regular contact during the health crisis, in order to exchange information and explore avenues of cooperation and mutual support.
His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime Minister stressed that the State of Kuwait greatly values the contributions of the large Indian community in Kuwait, and would continue to ensure their safety and welfare in the present situation. Prime Minister expressed his warm thanks and appreciation for this kind reassurance. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India’s rapid response team to Kuwait for combating COVID-19, New Delhi, 11 April 2020.
A team of 15 Indian doctors and health- care professionals reached Kuwait today, to supplement the efforts of the Government of the State of Kuwait in the collective fight against global Covid-19 pandemic. The medical team is expected to stay in Kuwait for a period of two weeks during which it will render medical assistance in testing and treatment of the afflicted persons and training their personnel. The rapid response team has been deputed at the request of the government of the State of Kuwait.
The deputation of Indian medical experts follows the recent phone call between Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, in which both the leaders agreed for a concerted and coordinated effort against the global pandemic. Subsequently, the External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar and his Kuwaiti counterpart held a telephone conversation to discuss the prevailing situation in Kuwait and explore ways to further strengthen cooperation during these challenging times.
India and Kuwait share a strong partnership based on historical, cultural, economic and people-to-people-contacts. Indians constitute the largest group of expatriates with an estimated population of about ten lakhs in the State of Kuwait. India is reaching out to Kuwait in the extended neighbourhood to further complement its efforts to fight the menace effectively. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Telephone Conversation between PM and Sultan of Oman, new Delhi, 07 April 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on telephone today with His Majesty Haitham bin Tarik, Sultan of Oman.
The two leaders discussed the health and economic challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the steps being taken by their respective countries to respond to them. They agreed that both countries would extend all possible support to each other in dealing with the crisis.
His Majesty the Sultan assured PM about the safety and wellbeing of the Indian community in Oman in the present situation. He also thanked PM for the recent support provided by Government of India to Omani citizens in India.
Prime Minister reiterated his condolences for the demise of HM Late Sultan Qaboos. He conveyed his best wishes for HM Sultan Haitham’s reign, and for the peace and prosperity of the people of Oman. He stressed that India regards Oman as a very important part of its extended neighbourhood. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
India and Oman share a very special relationship, Muscat, 24 April 2020.
Ambassador Munu Mahawar, Indian ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, tweeted and stated, “India and Oman share a very special relationship based on mutual understanding and trust. Those trying to create differences should realise the absolute futility of their efforts. They will never succeed.” This statement was issued in response to an offensive tweet on 22 April from a fake Twitter account impersonating H.H. Dr. Mona bint Fahad Al-Said, Assistant V.C. for International Cooperation, Sultan Qaboos University.
H.H. Dr. Mona issued a statement and clarified “Friends, First of all I thank you for your concern to verify the offensive post published through an account impersonating me, which you are sure that I have no connection with it. With full trust in all of you in strengthening awareness among all regarding such activities, which are not acceptable to the Omani society, I confirm again that my presence in social media is restricted on the following accounts: @hhmonaalsaid on Instagram and @MonaFahad 13 on Twitter.”
Ambassador Munu Mahawar, thanked H.H. Dr. Mona for the clarification and tweeted “India values its friendly relations with Oman and will continue working closely with the Government and people of Oman to further strengthen our special relationship.”
Earlier the Indian Embassy had tweeted and stated, “In these challenging times, it is important that we stay focused and united in our fight against COVID-19, and not get distracted by fake news on social media with malicious intentions”. Indian Embassy also tweeted and said, “The friendly relations between India and Oman are underpinned by our shared values of tolerance and pluralism. Let us all commit to maintaining unity and social harmony at this critical juncture. As PM Shri Narendra Modi said: We are in this together.” Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
Telephone Conversation between PM and President of the State of Palestine, New Delhi, 14 April 2020.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on phone today with H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine.
Prime Minister conveyed greetings to the President and the people of Palestine, for the forthcoming holy month of Ramadan.
The two leaders discussed the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and apprised each other of the steps being taken in their respective countries to control the situation.
Prime Minister appreciated the efforts being made by the Palestine authorities to protect their population from the virus, and assured all possible support from India for these efforts.
The two leaders agreed to remain in touch at appropriate levels to explore avenues of cooperation at this challenging time. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Press Release on COVID-19 Situation, Riyadh, 17 April 2020.
The Embassy is closely monitoring the situation on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia, and is taking all the requisite measures to ensure the welfare of Indian citizens in the Kingdom.
As per information available with the Embassy as of April 17, five Indian nationals, Mr. Shebnaz Pala Kandiyil, Mr. Safvan Nadamal, both from Kerala, Mr. Suleman Sayyid Junaid from Maharashtra, Mr. Badre Alam from Uttar Pradesh and Mr Azmatullah Khan from Telangana have sadly passed away due to the disease in the Kingdom.
The measures taken by the Embassy, inter alia, include the following:
Setting up of a dedicated 24/7 helpline: +966 546103992 (including WhatsApp) and Email: email@example.com to receive calls from Indians across the Kingdom to provide information, allay concerns and also to be informed of emergency situations.
The Ambassador has issued a message to the community through social media (in multiple languages). A video message has also been recorded by the Saudi Ministry of Health for circulation in the community regarding the various precautionary measures to be taken.
The Embassy is in close touch with all major companies in the Kingdom that employ Indian workers and have requested them to ensure that all precautionary measures are put in place such as social distancing norms and monitoring of health of workers, especially in labour camps.
A WhatsApp Group of Indian Doctors has been created, to reach out in case of any emergency situations, and also provide a first line of access to medical help to Indians who may not be able to reach a medical facility due to the lockdown.
On April 14, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed interacted with Indian community Volunteers and Social Workers and took their feedback. Volunteers of all major community organisations and Social Workers have been brought fully in the loop to help monitor the situation closely and take up various activities such as supply of food, medicines and other emergency assistance to stranded Indians.
On April 15, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed interacted online with Indian media persons based in Saudi Arabia to discuss the prevailing situation with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures taken by the Embassy to address the concerns of members of the Indian community and ensure their welfare. More than 50 media-persons representing various media houses based in the Kingdom participated in the discussion.
Embassy is also in touch with major food supply chains and Indian restaurants for delivery of food to places from where requests are received.
Embassy is also in touch with hotel chains and business groups for the possible creation of quarantine zones for the community if the need arises.
The above measures reflect the commitment of the Government of India that welfare of Indians all over the world is a top priority. This was also highlighted by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in a video conference with all Indian Heads of Missions held on March 30, 2020.
The Gulf region in general and Saudi Arabia in particular is of critical importance to India due to the size of the diaspora. Prime Minister spoke to Crown Prince HRH Mohammad bin Salman on March 17 to discuss the efforts to fight the pandemic. Prime Minister also participated in the G-20 Virtual Summit held on March 26 to discuss the global impact of the pandemic.
Due to the extension of the lockdown in India and international flights remaining suspended in the interest and safety of Indians, there is no immediate plan for evacuation at this stage. The Embassy is in constant touch with authorities in both India and Saudi Arabia and will communicate through its social media accounts and website in case of any developments in this regard.
The Embassy reiterates the need for the community to remain calm and show high sense of responsibility and self-discipline, and extend full support to the Saudi authorities in dealing with the situation. All precautionary measures to control the pandemic such as following social distancing norms, staying at home and avoiding gatherings, must be strictly adhered to.
Community members are advised to reach out to the Embassy through the helpline (+966 546103992) in the case of any emergencies or difficulties arising due to the prevailing situation, and visit the Embassy website (www.eoiriyadh.gov.in) and social media accounts (twitter : @IndianEmbRiyadh; Facebook : India in Saudi Arabia) regularly for various updates and advisories related to COVID-19.
Embassy of India, Riyadh is at the disposal of the Indian Community 24/7 and remains the ‘Home away from Home’ for all Indian nationals. Source: Embassy of Indi, Riyadh.
Announcement on International Indian Schools in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 20 April 2020.
Dr Ausaf Sayeed, The Ambassador of India and Patron of International Indian Schools, wishes well for good health of entire fraternity of International Indian Schools and the Indian Community in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and changing paradigms, the Embassy of India is seized with the concerns of our Diaspora and its impact on the community. The Embassy is monitoring all developments in the Kingdom and is dedicated to provide succour and assistance to entire cross-section of the Indian community, in consultation with the concerned Ministries of the Kingdom.
Due to the prevailing situation, unusual circumstances and based on recommendations of the Higher Board, Managing Committees and internal deliberations, following decisions have been taken for the Schools towards assisting in alleviating the situation: -
• All Schools have been advised to make a School outreach and be sympathetic to the requirements and assistance projected by parents.
• No School employees will be retrenched.
• School staff shall draw the current salary with minor modifications to allowances and increments.
• All students will be allowed to access online classes irrespective of fee default. No restrictions will be applied.
• Only tuition fee to be paid by parents. All subsidiary/ supplementary fees shall not be charged.
• The costs for implementation of distance learning package will be considered through tuition fees for the lockdown period.
• Status quo would be reverted to post COVID-19 after review of finances.
Higher Board shall be issuing necessary directions to all International Indian Schools in this regard. The emerging situation and concessions provided shall be reviewed on 01 June 2020.
Similar steps are recommended to be adopted by all CBSE Schools in the Kingdom which are privately owned. Source: Embassy of India, Riyadh.
Press Release on COVID-19 Situation, Riyadh, 22 April 2020.
The Embassy continues to closely monitor the situation on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia, and is taking all the requisite measures to ensure the welfare of Indian citizens in the Kingdom.
2. As a follow-up to the interaction with Indian Community Volunteers and Social Workers from the major cities on April 14, the Ambassador on April 22 interacted with community volunteers from smaller cities and towns all across the Kingdom to assess the situation.
3. Various measures on supply of food, medicines and other emergency assistance to Indians in need are already in place and are being effectively implemented by volunteers of all major community organisations across the Kingdom.
4. As per information available with the Embassy as of April 22, eleven Indian nationals (4 in Madinah, 3 in Makkah, 2 in Jeddah, 1 in Riyadh and 1 in Dammam) have sadly passed away due to the disease in the Kingdom.
5. It is reiterated that due to the lockdown and suspension of air travel to India, no decision has been taken for evacuation of Indians from the Kingdom at this stage. Any updates in this regard will be made available on the Embassy’s social media accounts (twitter: @IndianEmbRiyadh; Facebook: India in Saudi Arabia) and website (www.eoiriyadh.gov.in).
6. The Embassy also reiterates the need for the community to remain calm and avoid spreading of rumours that may create panic. It is important that social media is not used to disseminate false messages and spread hatred along communal lines that can vitiate the atmosphere. As stated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking, and our response and conduct should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood.
7. Embassy wishes all Indian nationals in Saudi Arabia a happy and safe Ramadan and continues to remain at the disposal of the Indian community. Source: Embassy of India, Riyadh.
OIC rejects any attempt towards illegally changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir, Jeddah. 04 April 2020.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses its deep concern over the adoption of the ‘Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020’, which may change the demographic structure of Jammu & Kashmir, a disputed territory as recognized by the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
The introduction of this new law governing domiciles further compounds the already dire situation at the disputed territory since the unilateral removal on 5 August 2019 of the special status accorded to it under the Constitution.
The OIC General Secretariat rejects any attempt towards illegally changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir territory.
Recalling the OIC Summit decisions and Council of Foreign Ministers resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, the General Secretariat reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir and reiterates its call on the international community to accelerate its efforts to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Source: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
OIC Rejects Anti-Muslim Prejudice in India over the Coronavirus Spread, Jeddah, 19 April 2020.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses deep concern following recent media accounts of rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia within political and media circles and on mainstream and social media platforms, where Indian Muslim minority is blamed of spreading the coronavirus in the country.
The OIC General Secretariat expresses its rejection of the targeting of Muslims anywhere, pointing out that the current COVID-19 world situation is such that it requires greater efforts, more active cooperation and solidarity mechanisms worldwide, and stronger mutual aid among all citizens of the same country. Source: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND P R Kumaraswamy
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