Indian workers in UAE figure in India-UAE talks


New Delhi : Issues related to the Indian workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were among those that came up for discussion Tuesday on the first day of a two-day India-UAE joint commission meeting.

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The talks were held at the level of officials and will be followed up Wednesday by ministerial-level discussions between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukerjee and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

"A representative from our ministry is discussing with the UAE delegation the issue of Indian workers in their country in today's meeting," an official of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs told IANS.

The Gulf nation has around 1.5 million Indians, many of them working as contract labourers. India signed a labour welfare pact with the UAE in December last year to safeguard the interests of Indians workers.

The talks will also a wide range of issues related to commerce, investment opportunities, security, labour, energy, civil aviation and tourism and culture.

This is the ninth meeting of the India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation set up way back in January 1975. The last meeting was held in September 1994.

With India-UAE ties steadily improving, joint commission meetings are expected to become more regular.

UAE Prime Minister and Vice President Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, visited India in March this year.