India has asked the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to facilitate the return of Indians who want to resume work with the relaxing of Covid-19-related restrictions.
More than eight million Indians live and work in West Asia, with a majority of them within the region covered by the GCC, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Saudi Arabia has an Indian expatriate population of about 2.6 million, while UAE is home to some 3.4 million Indians.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, during India’s strategic dialogue with the GCC countries “mentioned that a large number of Indian workers and professionals are now eager to return to the GCC countries to resume their work”, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Jaishankar “urged the GCC leadership to facilitate their return through sustainable travel bubble arrangements with India,” the statement said. He also thanked the GCC states for taking care of the large Indian diaspora during the pandemic, and noted that India had taken “special care to ensure the return of Indian health professionals to GCC countries”.