India and Kuwait signed an agreement to streamline the recruitment of Indian domestic workers and discussed ways to boost cooperation in food security, cyber security and the energy sector during external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Doha.
The signing of the memorandum of understanding for cooperation on the recruitment of domestic workers was among the key outcomes of Jaishankar’s visit that concluded on Friday. The MoU brings Indian workers in Kuwait within the ambit of a legal framework that streamlines their recruitment and provides them protection of law.
It also introduces an employment contract to ensure the rights and obligations of employers and workers, and a mechanism for 24-hour assistance to workers. A joint committee will be created to carry out periodic reviews and follow up the implementation of the MoU. With this MoU, the total number of agreements between the two countries has gone up to 34.
The agreement was signed by officials during a meeting between Jaishankar and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, on Thursday. The meeting was also attended by Kuwait’s trade minister Abdullah Issa Al Salman.
The two sides reviewed bilateral ties and discussed challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. They reiterated their commitment to jointly fight the pandemic and address issues faced by citizens of both sides, such as travel restrictions and matters related to vaccination.
The meeting also focused on cooperation in food security, cyber security, healthcare, education and the energy sector and issues related to the Indian workforce in Kuwait.
The two sides agreed to hold the first meeting of the bilateral joint commission later this year and to set dates for early meetings of the joint working groups on health, hydrocarbons and manpower.
Jaishankar also met the Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, on Thursday and handed over to him a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed to Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait. Jaishankar thanked the leadership of Kuwait for supplying hundreds of tonnes of liquid oxygen and oxygen-related supplies to India during the second wave of Coronavirus infections.
The two sides also launched joint celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, which will continue till 2022.
Jaishankar chaired a meeting of the Indian ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain on Thursday and discussed steps to ensure the early return of Indian talent and skills who left the Gulf during the pandemic, ways to ensure the welfare of Indian expatriates, speedy resumption of flights to Gulf destinations, and giving a push to India’s trade interests to contribute to economic recovery at home.
After the conclusion of his visit to Kuwait on Friday, Jaishankar left for Kenya via Doha.