Jeddah, May 27 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has called for increased cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the defence sector, steps that need to be taken to combat militancy and pitched in for investment in the country during his meeting with the Indian community in Jeddah
During his meeting with the Indian community in Saudi Arabia, Khurshid expressed the Indian government's concern over the plight of expatriates employed in Saudi Arabia, consequent to the introduction of a proposed work force nationalisation law by the Middle East nation.
The work force nationalisation law, 'Nitaqat', introduced by the Saudi Arabia, fully came into effect on Friday (March 29).
Khurshid said that he had pressed for more investment from Saudi Arabia in India and called for an increase in cooperation between the two countries in the field of defence.
"I have pitched very hard for greater investments in India, which I think will definitely come. We have looked at enhanced defence relationship, cooperation in counter terrorism. So it is across the plane, across the board. I think we have some very positive signals," he said.
He further said that India would like to learn from Saudi Arabia about the measures that they take to rehabilitate those who people who were earlier involved in militant activities.
"We share intelligence. The Attorney General was here just a week ago and he had some detailed discussions with the minister of interior. He looked at various factors where our cooperation can be enhanced, we can understand better what their methodology is," he said.
"They have experimented successfully in turning around people who are lost to terrorism and ensuring that somehow that they are brought back into useful lives. I think that is a very important experiment that we have much to learn from. And these are things which we will have to share each other's experiences and see how we can improve and be more effective," he added.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have launched a massive campaign to deport thousands of foreigners who have overstayed in the country, working beyond the given permits or worked illegally.
According to the report, the nation-wide campaign is attributed to ambitious labour market reforms and boosting security levels.
Around eight million expatriates work and live in the vast Saudi kingdom, mainly unskilled labourers and domestic helpers from Asian countries, the report added.
The trade between India and Saudi Arabia had surged from USD 15,946.10 million in 2006-07 to US 25,612.46 million dollars in 2010-11.
India imports almost 23 percent of its crude oil requirements from Saudi Arabia. (ANI)