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Indian workers in Saudi Arabia praised by PM Modi

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Image source: pmindia.gov.in The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi sharing snacks with workers
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Riyadh: The large number of Indian blue collar workers in Saudi Arabia on Saturday came in for much appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the hard work they have put in for the development of the Gulf kingdom.

“It is your sweat and toil that has brought me here,” Modi, who arrived here earlier in the day, said while addressing workers of Indian engineering and infrastructure major L&T at their residential complex.

“Your happiness is my happiness and when you are not happy, I also feel the pain,” he said.

Modi told the workers that India has the kind of manpower that the world needed today.

“When in the times to come, people will see the work you have done, you will realise the importance of your efforts,” he said.

The prime minister also told the workers that they have made India proud for the discipline they have shown in their work.He assured the workers that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the entire team of officials at the ministry were ready to help if any of them got into any trouble.

He also highlighted the various steps taken by his government for the convenience of Indian workers abroad.

“There are forums like MyGov and Narendra Modi Mobile App through which you can reach me and I can communicate with you,” he said.

Modi also said that the government was working to regularise migration, and also promised more Indian worker resource centres and a second 24/7 call centre.

Earlier, the workers gave Modi two safety helmets to sign, one of which they gave him and the other they kept with them.Modi also shared a meal with the workers after his speech. After his arrival at the complex, the prime minister was given a presentation on the work on the Riyadh Metro Project for which the workers have been employed.L&T is doing around $2 billion worth of work on one line of the $600-billion Riyadh Metro Project.

Prior to this event, Modi addressed members of the Indian community and said that political stability was behind the economic growth story of India.

“In a very short span of time, India has once again given rise to new expectations at the world stage,” he said in a short speech.

Apart from a large number of blue collar workers, Indian doctors, teachers, engineers and managers have made immense contributions to Saudi Arabia’s development, something that has been appreciated by the country’s rulers on numerous occasions.

Indians in Saudi Arabia make an important contribution to their homeland sending around $10 billion in remittances every year. Earlier on Saturday, Modi was received at the King Khalid International Airport by Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud.

Saudi Arabia is the third and last leg of Modi’s three-nation tour which also took him to Brussels where he attended the 13th India-European Union (EU) Summit and held a bilateral meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and then to Washington where he participated in the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by US President Barack Obama.

This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to the oil-rich Gulf kingdom since the visit of Manmohan Singh in 2010.

“Reached Saudi Arabia. I look forward to a productive visit that will strengthen our bilateral relations,” Modi tweeted on arrival.Ties between India and Saudi Arabia are expected to be further elevated from the current strategic partnership to a more broad-based one.

Apart from the community interactions on Saturday, Modi also visited the Masmak Fortress here which is a monument of historical importance for Saudi Arabia.

Saud bin Sultan bin Abdullah Al Saud, a member of the royal family and a researcher at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, accompanied him around.Modi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome on Sunday afternoon at the Royal Court here by King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who will also host a lunch in honour of the visiting prime minister.

This will be followed by delegation-level talks and the signing of agreements.The prime minister will leave for India late Sunday afternoon.(IANS)

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  • sudheer naik

    This is a good sign that modi met indians in saudi arabia and also communicated with them about the problems faced by them and also talked about migrations issues.

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Visas Of Saudi Officials Revokes By The USA Following The Khashoggi Killing

Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get documents he needed to marry his fiancee, Turkish national Hatice Cengiz, who waited outside in vain for his return.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington. VOA

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the United States had “identified at least some” of the Saudi officials involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and was revoking their visas.

“These penalties will not be the last word on this matter from the United States. We will continue to explore additional measures to hold those accountable,” Pompeo said. “We’re making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence.”

The visa revocations were the first punitive actions the U.S. has taken against Saudi Arabia since news broke of Khashoggi’s disappearance on Oct. 2.

Pompeo, who made the announcement at the State Department, did not say who or how many Saudi officials would have their visas revoked. Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced it had already arrested 18 Saudis and fired several top intelligence officials in connection with Khashoggi’s death.

The secretary also said the U.S. was considering taking action, such as imposing financial sanctions, under the Magnitsky Act. That law was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in a Moscow prison after he reported tax fraud involving government officials; it was aimed at punishing officials responsible for his death.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey. VOA

Earlier Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke for the first time about the Khashoggi case, saying the journalist was “murdered in a ferocious manner,” and contending that Saudi Arabia carried out the killing in its Istanbul consulate in a premeditated plot. He dismissed Riyadh’s claim that “rogue agents” were responsible.

“All evidence gathered shows that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a savage murder,” Erdogan told the Turkish parliament in Ankara. “To cover up such savagery would hurt the human conscience.”

The Turkish leader said “to blame such an incident on a handful of security and intelligence members would not satisfy us or the international community.”

Erdogan demanded that whoever ordered the killing of Khashoggi “be brought to account,” and that the 18 officials already arrested by Saudi Arabia in connection with the killing stand trial in Istanbul.

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U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey during a bill-signing ceremony at the White House in Washington. VOA

In Washington, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Saudi authorities had staged “one of the worst cover-ups” in history with their response to the killing of Khashoggi, 59, a U.S.-based Saudi dissident.

“They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

When a reporter asked Trump if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto leader, should be held accountable, Trump said, “I spoke with the crown prince yesterday, and he strongly said he had nothing to do with this — it was at a lower level.”

Vice President Mike Pence said Erdogan’s assessment of the killing “underscores the determination” of the Trump administration “to find out what happened. The word from President Erdogan this morning that this brutal murder was premeditated, preplanned days in advance, flies in the face of earlier assertions that had been made by the Saudi regime.”

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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. VOA

“The world is watching,” Pence said at an event at The Washington Post, where Khashoggi wrote opinion columns that were critical of the Saudi crown prince. “The American people want answers, and we will demand that those answers are forthcoming.”

Erdogan told Turkish lawmakers that “Saudi Arabia has taken an important step by admitting the murder. As of now, we expect of them to openly bring to light those responsible, from the highest ranked to the lowest, and to bring them to justice.” The Turkish president described Khashoggi’s death as a “murder” 15 times in his speech.

Erdogan never mentioned Salman in his speech and did not play an audio recording of the killing that news accounts have cited.

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This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Oct. 9, 2018 claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. VOA

Erdogan gave new details surrounding the killing — which involved 15 Saudi agents who started arriving in Turkey on Oct. 1, the day before Khashoggi was killed — while largely confirming earlier news accounts of Khashoggi’s disappearance, including that Saudi agents deployed a body double with Khashoggi’s clothes, glasses and beard to walk out of the consulate to make it appear as if he had left the diplomatic outpost alive.

The Turkish president said that on Oct. 1, a team of Saudi consular staff scouted out two separate locations in a forest outside Istanbul and at Yalova, 90 kilometers south of the city. Turkish authorities have searched the locations, theorizing that Khashoggi’s remains might have been disposed of there, but have not found his body. Erdogan said Saudi agents removed the hard drive from the consulate’s surveillance system.

Saudi officials at first said that Khashoggi had walked out of the consulate and that they did not know his whereabouts. Then they said he died in a fistfight in the consulate. Most recently, the Saudis said Khashoggi was killed in a chokehold when he tried to leave the consulate to call for help.

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Turkish police crime scene investigators leave an underground car park, after looking for possible clues into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, on a vehicle belonging to the Saudi Consulate found by authorities a day earlier, in Istanbul. VOA

“When the murder is so clear,” Erdogan said, “why were so many inconsistent statements made? Why is the body of a person who has officially been accepted as killed still not around?”

Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get documents he needed to marry his fiancee, Turkish national Hatice Cengiz, who waited outside in vain for his return.

The Turkish leader stressed the need for his police and intelligence services to conduct a thorough probe, both to avoid falsely accusing anyone and to fulfill a responsibility to the international community.

Also Read: Silicon Valley Reconsiders Its Decision to Invest in Saudi Arabia

Since Saudi accounts said a “local collaborator” had disposed of Khashoggi’s remains, Erdogan said, “I am now asking: Who is this local collaborator?”

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel was in Turkey to confer with Turkish officials about their investigation. (VOA)