Indians in Saudi Arabia have welcomed the nomination of New Delhi's former ambassador to the Kingdom, Mohammed Hamid Ansari, for the post of vice president of the country.
Paying tribute to Ansari, prominent Indian expatriates described him as a distinguished diplomat during whose tenure Saudi-Indian economic ties received a big boost and cultural associations flourished.
"Every Indian should feel proud of his nomination. I have known him for a long time not only during his tenure as India's ambassador but even earlier when he served as consul-general in Jeddah," SA Jayaseelan, General Secretary of India Forum, told Arab News.
Jayaseelan said both Ansari and his wife Salma played an active role in the launch of schools for the Indian community both during his tenure as consul-general in Jeddah and as ambassador in Riyadh.
KS Rajan, a long-time resident of Jeddah who knew Ansari since his first stint as consul-general, said the former ambassador was the best man for the post of vice president.
"He is different from others. Even during his first term as the consul-general in Jeddah when TTP Abdullah was the ambassador, he and his wife Salma Ansari used to take an active interest in school affairs and in resolving problems. The first election for the then Indian Embassy school's management committee was also held during his tenure," Rajan said.
Dr Mohammed Niaz Ahmed Khan, president of the Osmania University Old Boys NRIs' Association (OUOBNA), said it was not only good news for Muslims but also for all minorities, whose cause Ansari championed during his tenure as the chairman of the Minorities Commission.