Gulf crisis: Vijayan asks PM Modi to ensure safety of Indians in Qatartext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday sought the Centre's intervention to ensure safety of 6.5 lakh Indians, including Keralites, residing in Qatar following recent developments in the Middle East.
In letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Vijayan said he was writing the letter in the context of the developing geo-political situation in the Middle East today.
"As you are aware millions of Indians are working in countries in the Middle East and therefore the geo-political developments in the region have raised deep concerns among the people in the state since each family has at least one family member or a relative in the region," he said.
There are about 6.5 lakh Indians in Qatar, of which nearly three lakh people hail from Kerala, Vijayan said, expressing concern on their safety and employment in Qatar.
"I would like to place on record the full support of our state to the considered stance that Union government would take on the issue, given the complexities involved," he said.
He said the state was aware that the Centre would come out with the "most appropriate diplomatic and geo- political stance" in this regard taking into consideration all aspects and put in place a "robust mechanism" for addressing all the concerns.
Vijayan also wanted the Indian Embassy in Doha to be "suitably empowered" to respond presciently to the concerns of the Indian community in the country.
The letters were written in the backdrop of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as tensions escalated in the region over accusations that Doha backed militant groups.