Indian ambassador praises Kuwait’s policy of neutrality

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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 9: The Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Dr. Adarsh Swaika affirmed the depth of the bilateral cooperation relations between the two countries, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Praising Kuwait’s pivotal role in various regional issues, he explained that Kuwait has followed a policy of neutrality in the region and has played an important role in the issues related to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It is implementing a number of social and economic development projects in many developing countries, especially through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and is at the forefront of countries in providing humanitarian aid around the world, something that is highly appreciated by the international community.

The ambassador said, “We look forward to high-level visits from both sides to strengthen these historical relations between our two countries due to their importance in providing an opportunity to reach mutual understandings and agreements on important issues.”

Regarding the date of the joint committee meeting between the two countries, he indicated that the date and place have not yet been decided, as it will depend on the visit of any of the foreign ministers of the two countries.

Ambassador Swaika referred to the steady bilateral consultations held between the foreign ministries of the two countries, such as those held in New Delhi during the first week of May after a gap of almost four years, and the first multilateral consultations between India, Kuwait and the United Nations that were held in the first week of June in Kuwait.

Speaking of security cooperation, he said, “The defense and security relations have so far been limited to training and medical cooperation. Four Indian ships had visited Kuwait in July and October of last year. An Indian warship (ANS Visakhapatnam guided missile destroyer) is expected to visit Kuwait in August.

Commercially, there is growth in economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. Our bilateral trade amounting to USD 13.8 billion for the period 2022-2023 recorded its highest levels ever, with an increase of 12.8 percent on an annual basis. The main potential area of cooperation is in the field of Kuwaiti investments in India, which provides an attractive investment and financial climate.”

Highlighting the significant contribution of the Indian community to the Kuwaiti economy, Ambassador Swaika explained that the bilateral memorandum of understanding regarding domestic workers was signed in June 2021. A decree was issued by the Kuwaiti side in April 2022 to implement it. The memorandum contains provisions that enumerate the legal rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee. Therefore it is important to adhere to these provisions for both parties.

The proper implementation of the MoU by both sides could lead to resolving most of the problems. The embassy has been keen to disseminate information related to legal immigration procedures, so that Indian nationals who intend to come to work in Kuwait do not fall into the hands of illegal sponsors.

The ambassador stressed the keenness of the Government of India to work on developing skills among its citizens to enhance their employability in the international labor market, by establishing training programs, and cooperating with the private sector to identify and enhance the required skills.

He indicated that the agreed price for hiring domestic workers was determined, taking into account the minimum wage in Kuwait as per Indian labor requirements.

Ambassador Swaika explained that the fees for recruiting domestic workers, which are approved by the government-approved employment agency in India, is INR 35,400, which is equivalent to KD 145. There are separate fees for a clearance certificate (certificate of proof of criminal status) which costs KD 2, and a medical certificate from accredited medical test centers in India at a value of KD 20.

In addition, Ambassador Swaika said, “Educational and academic cooperation is one area in which we have not been able to harness the synergies between us and Kuwait to a large extent. There are 26 schools in Kuwait that follow the Indian CBSE curriculum with more than 50,000 students of different nationalities. However, the same does not apply to higher education.

Kuwaiti students have been receiving their higher education in India since as early as 2009-2010, but this seems to be relatively stalled at the present time. We look forward to strengthening cooperation in this field, especially since the Indian education sector has made a real leap.”

He affirmed that he considers Kuwait’s accession as a partner in the dialogue with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) during the Indian presidency as a welcome step.

The ambassador said, “The area of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has not yet covered any of the countries in the Middle East. The entry of Iran as a full member and the entry of Kuwait and the Arab Emirates will add to the organization’s deliberations an essential value.”

Most of the discussions in the organization are related to combating terrorism and ensuring regional security, which is also closely related to this region.”

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