Jaishankar highlights Vande Bharat Mission in Saudi Arabia during interaction with Indian community

11 September, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

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External Affairs Minister emphasised the Vande Bharat Trip in Saudi Arabia, stating that the mission brought back at least seven million people from all over the world.

External Affairs Minister emphasised the Vande Bharat Trip in Saudi Arabia, stating that the mission brought back at least seven million people from all over the world.

Beginning on Saturday, Jaishankar will be in Saudi Arabia for two days. “Under the Vande Bharat Mission, we brought back 7 million people from all over the world. That has never been done; it was the largest evacuation ever carried out during COVID. India as it is seen by the world today “While dealing with the Indian community in Riyad, Jaishankar stated.

The largest evacuation operation to return Indian nationals who are stuck overseas due to travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus is called the Vande Bharat Mission.

It is also regarded as the biggest effort to repatriate Indian citizens since the early 1990s, when 177,000 people were evacuated from the Gulf area when hostilities between Iraq and Kuwait during the first Gulf War began.

Priority was given to Indian nationals who had “compelling reasons to return,” such as those whose jobs were terminated, those whose visas had expired and were not anticipated to be extended due to the Covid situation, and those who had lost family members during that period.

The government sponsored the progressive return of Indian people who were stuck overseas due to compelling circumstances under the repatriation programme. Jaishankar also praised the strengthening relations between Saudi Arabia and India.

“We have witnessed our foreign friendships during the last five years. Saudi Arabia offered oxygen supply and was extremely helpful. The country was put to the test during the first two years of COVID, but we prevailed “Jaishankar, the Indian External Affairs Minister, stated this during his maiden visit to the Kingdom.

When discussing Covid vaccines, he remarked, “When I travel, I observe that many nations’ citizens remain unvaccinated because they lack the necessary vaccinations, while other nations have all they need but their citizens still choose not to receive it. We bridged this gap by making our own vaccines and encouraging people to become immunised.”

He praised the Indian community in Riyadh while discussing the crucial role the Indian diaspora plays in the relations between the two nations.

“You all played a significant role in influencing Saudi Arabia’s perception of India and what we stand for. Whether consciously or unintentionally, everyone of you has contributed to the overall Saudi impression of India via your accomplishments, contributions, careers, and friendships. Your country will always be appreciative for that. I want to thank the nation, the administration, and each and every one of you. Living abroad is not always simple, as we all know “Jaishankar stated.

He further added “There are 2.5 million Indians residing in Saudi Arabia, however there used to be more. You will undoubtedly have worries, interests, and difficulties, and it is extremely helpful for me to be aware of and understand these things so that, whether I interact with the authorities, my counterpart, or the officialdom, I do it with your best interests in mind. In certain ways, the government, the foreign ministry, the embassy, or even just I as the foreign minister, may work in your favour to enhance your comfort, make sure your needs are satisfied, and find a solution to your difficulties.”

India and the Gulf Cooperation Council sign an agreement to streamline dialogue.