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Community fund of 11.7 million dirham (Rs 21 crore) to aid distressed Indians in UAE


Abu Dhabi: A media report on Friday revealed an amount of 11.7 million dirham (Rs 21 crore)is to be used in aiding the distressed Indians in UAE. The community fund comprises the sum Indian expats contribute every time they avail a consular service.

Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary (Community Affairs) at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi told Khaleej Times that the fund under the mission currently amounts to 11.7 million dirham.

Needy Indians, including those stranded after losing jobs, runaway house maids and critically ill patients, are among those who can avail monetary support from the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF).

As much as 2.43 million dirham was spent from the fund in 2015 within the UAE and an additional 6.7 million dirham was disbursed from the same for the evacuation of Indians in Iraq last year, figures from the embassy showed.

“An amount of Rs.12 crore was allotted to the Indian Embassy in Baghdad for the evacuation of the Indians stuck there (due to the civil war in Iraq). We still have about Rs.21 crore left in the fund,” said Kumar.

At the launch of a family protection scheme for NRI families from Aster DM Healthcare and RAK Insurance this week, Indian Ambassador to the UAE T P Seetharam urged Indians in distress to seek help from the fund.

“There are various categories of distressed Indians who can approach us for financial aid from the fund. These are issued under the guidelines for Indians in the UAE and are also published on our website and Facebook page,” he said.

He said there are over 8,000 Indian associations or community groups in the UAE and sought their help in bringing the cases of distressed Indians to the attention of the Indian missions here. ( IANS)

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US Backtracks on Iraqi, Kurd Cease-fire Claim

An Iraqi soldier removes a Kurdish flag from Altun Kupri
An Iraqi soldier removes a Kurdish flag from Altun Kupri on the outskirts of Irbil, Iraq. VOA

Iraq, October 27: The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State announced Friday morning a cease-fire between Iraqi forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga in Northern Iraq but quickly backtracked on the claim, saying it is not an “official” cease-fire.

Army spokesman Ryan Dillon posted a clarification on Twitter to say “both parties (are) talking with one another,” but that a “cease-fire” had not been reached.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish minority have been clashing for several weeks after the Iraqi troops moved to secure areas in northern Iraq that had been seized from IS jihadists by Kurdish forces. The Kurdish forces abandoned the land largely without resistance, though low-level clashes have been reported.

Iraqi PM rejects Kurdish offer

The areas Iraqi forces are moving into were mostly under Baghdad’s control in 2014, when Islamic State militants swept into the region. Kurdish Peshmerga and coalition forces recaptured the lands, and the Kurdistan Region has since held them.

The Iraqi leadership said it is retaking the areas to establish federal authority after a Kurdish referendum for independence in September threatened the nation’s unity. More than 92 percent of Kurds in Iraq voted “yes” in a vote Baghdad called illegal, and the international community leaders said was dangerous and ill-timed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday rejected an offer by Kurdish leaders to freeze the results of their independence referendum in favor of dialogue in order to avoid further conflict.

The Kurdistan Regional Government, in a statement, said the confrontations have hurt both sides and could lead to ongoing bloodshed and social unrest in Iraq.

“Certainly, continued fighting does not lead any side to victory, but it will drive the country towards disarray and chaos, affecting all aspects of life,” the KRG said.

‘Unified Iraq is the only way to go’

Abadi said in a statement his government will accept only the annulment of the referendum and respect for the constitution.

During a briefing Friday morning at the Pentagon, Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie Jr. told reporters the U.S. believes “a unified Iraq is the only way to go forward.”

He added, “We’re not helping anyone attack anyone else inside Iraq, either the Kurds or the Iraqis.”(VOA)

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