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Vayalar Ravi leaves for week-long Gulf tour

The main purpose of the minister's visit is to interact with the Indians in Gulf countries to understand their grievances.

india Updated: May 03, 2006 14:33 IST

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi left for Bahrain's capital Manama on Wednesday to start a weeklong tour of the Gulf countries.

The main purpose of his visit is to interact with the Indians in Gulf countries to understand their grievances so that they could be redressed properly, according to a ministry press release.

His engagements on Wednesday include participation in a seminar organised by the Indian embassy to discuss labour-related issues and a meeting with Bahrain's Labour Minister Majid bin Muhsin Al Alawi.

The minister will also have an audience with Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is also the chief of Economic Development Board (in charge of Labour Market Reforms and Bahrainisation).

In the evening, he would attend a public meeting at the Indian Club organised by the Coordination Committee of Indian Associations.

He will leave for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Thursday where he will attend a series of programmes in the next three days to Saturday, May 6.

These include launching of a computerized consular passport service in the Indian embassy at Abu Dhabi on May 4.

The same evening, he will hand over the first Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card at a function at the embassy auditorium.

Ravi will meet receive community leaders and delegations at the premises of the Consulate General of India. He would also have meetings with presidents and secretaries of all the Indian associations, the release stated.

On Saturday, the minister will reach Dubai where he will call on UAE's Finance and Industry Minister and Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Handan Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, Labour Minister Dr Ali Bin Abdullah Al Kaabi and Social Affairs Minister, Mariam Mohammed Khalfan Al Roumi.

Ravi will leave for Jeddah the same night for a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia.

In Jeddah and Riyadh, he will meet representatives of various community leaders, apex Indian associations and representatives of the Indian workers. During his May 7-9 stay in Saudi Arabia, he is also likely to meet Saudi Arabia's Labour Minister.

Ravi will return to Delhi on May 10.

There are around three million Indians in the Gulf, many of them working on contracts.

Ravi's visit assumes significance in the light of a series of recent incidents, including labour unrest, involving Indian workers in the region.

First Published: May 03, 2006 14:31 IST