Energy, Nitaqat law, counter-terror on Khurshid's agenda in Saudi Arabia
New Delhi: The controversial 'Nitaqat' law relating to employment, energy security, counter-terrorism cooperation and a host of bilateral and regional issues would be discussed during External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's visit to Saudi Arabia later this month.
Khurshid's visit, from May 24-27, would be the first by an External Affairs Minister in the last five years. In 2008, then Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee had visited Saudi Arabia.
"There would be an entire range of issues that would be discussed," official Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said here.
Speaking about the issues that are likely to come up, Akbaruddin said that as per the latest estimates provided by Saudi Arabia, there are about 2.8 million Indian national residents there. "Their welfare, as you are aware has been a matter on which some concerns have been expressed," he said.
He recalled the recent visit of an Indian delegation led by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi who had held a meeting with Saudi Arabian Labour Minister Adel Fakieh.
Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed and Advisor to Prime Minister T K A Nair were also part of the delegation.
"The goal at that stage was to try and ensure that Saudi policies, which are largely domestic in nature, are implemented in a manner that takes into account the humanitarian needs of Indian nationals who are residents there," the spokesperson said.
He said since then Saudi government has provided "some sort of" options for various expatriates including Indians.