India, Kuwait resolve visa stand-off

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Kochi, Feb 16 (UNI) India and Kuwait have found a ''mutually satisfying and acceptable solution'' to the visa stand-off, and Kuwait is likely to resume issuing visas to Indian labourers from next week, Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed said today.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, Mr Ahamed said the solution had been worked out during two days of intensive talks between the officials of both the countries, including the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, in New Delhi since yesterday.

Stating that he had also taken up the matter with the Kuwaiti authorities during his recent visit to the Emirate, Mr Ahamed said the final modalities of the formula would be settled in further talks with Kuwait.

The Indian travel advisory to labourers not letting go to Iraq was still in force, and would be reviewed only after the situation there improves, he said.

Kuwait had stopped issuing visas to Indian labourers from December, after New Delhi introduced new employment conditions to protect its nationals working abroad.

The conditions, including one which barred Indian labourers from being sent to Iraq, were not accepted by Kuwait, which stopped issuing visas to Indian labourers.

Also, the minimum wage for maids was fixed at Rs 15,000 per month and sponsors of the maids had to sign an agreement with the embassy on their working conditions.

UNI ARC ROY PY BST1803

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