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MENAFN - Arab News - 19/06/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) angladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni arrived in Jeddah yesterday to request the Saudi government to extend the general amnesty period for Bangladeshi workers to give them more time to regularize their status.

Bangladesh Ambassador Mohamed Shahidul Islam told Arab News yesterday that Moni is leading a seven-member delegation on an official visit to the major cities of Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam.

Moni is slated to hold talks with the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Iyad Obaid Madani in Jeddah today to discuss the current situation of Bangladesh workers.

"Our embassy has already requested the Saudi government to extend the amnesty period as the mission will not be able to complete the issuance of passports and correct the status of a large number of Bangladeshi workers within the stipulated period," the envoy said, pointing out that the visiting foreign minister would personally confirm the request made by the embassy during talks with the state minister of foreign affairs here.

Following the proclamation of amnesty, Moni visited the Kingdom and conducted successful talks with senior Saudi officials to lift the ban on the transfer of sponsorship among Bangladeshi workers to facilitate the smooth implementation of the amnesty program.

The envoy said that Moni would also visit the job fair, which is taking place at the Bangladesh Consulate in Jeddah today. During her visit to Riyadh, Moni is scheduled to attend the Awards Night of the Bangladesh International School (English Section) tomorrow.

During this visit, the envoy said the foreign minister would interact with the community members to discuss their grievances.

Under the ongoing amnesty, a total of 1,66,480 Bangladesh expatriates have processed their documents at their country's missions in Riyadh and Jeddah. The documents processed include the issuance of new passports, renewal of passports, out passes and 20,000 travel permits. Large contingents of officers from Dhaka have been seconded for services to assist the missions' officials in Riyadh and Jeddah to complete their task in time.

In addition to these services offered in Riyadh, the mission has also organized consular services in Jubail, Al-Ahsa, Dammam, Al Jouf ,Saqaka and Al-Qassim.

The Jeddah consulate, which has processed 83,000 applicants, has also offered consular services in Khamis Mushayt, Jazan, Najran, Tabuk and Yanbu. Similar services have been arranged in Tabuk (again), Al-Baha and Madinah.

Endadul Haque, labor counselor at the Bangladesh Embassy said a job fair will be held at the on Wednesday and Thursday at Al-Fakhar Estreha in Riyadh. Around 15 companies have already consented to participate in the fair, he added.


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