Bangladesh set to send new envoy to Kuwait

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 21:15, Jul 11,2020


Bangladesh government is set to send a new ambassador to Kuwait amid a turmoil involving the arrest of Bangladesh MP Mohammad Shahid Islam on allegations of trading in visas, laundering money, engaging in bribery and as thousands of Bangladeshi workers are at risks of losing their jobs there.

The Bangladesh foreign ministry has already sensitised the government of Kuwait in a diplomatic note about the intent to send a new ambassador, diplomatic sources of the Arab country told New Age on Friday.

The term of the incumbent ambassador to Kuwait, Abul Kalam, is scheduled to end on July 31.

The Kuwait authorities have arrested Shahid Islam, an independent MP in Bangladesh, on charges of visa trading, bribing Kuwaiti officials and money laundering to other countries.

The Kuwait government has also detained several senior officials of the country this month.

A large number of foreign workers — over 1,58,000 — have left Kuwait in the four months since mid-march. Some 1.5 million, in total, are expected to leave the country by the end of this year.

The main reason for foreign workers to go back from Kuwait is the financial situation as many private-sector companies have terminated their employees due to losses in the last four months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kuwait government’s plan to Kuwaitise mainly the country’s private sector is also seen as pushing out expatriates by a large measure.

The Kuwait National Assembly is in the process of enacting laws to reduce the number of foreign workers who form 70 per cent of Kuwait’s population of 4.8 million.

With the laws coming into force, thousands of Bangladeshi workers are likely to be adversely affected as they would lose their jobs, migration experts said.

About 3.5 lakh Bangladeshi people are now working in Kuwait.





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