UAE Considers Action Against Nations Not Taking Back their Citizens

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Tourists wear protective face masks, following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, as they walk at the Grand Souq in old Dubai. — Reuters

Clarion India

ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates is considering imposing restrictions on work quotas of countries that refuse to accept their nationals who wish to leave the Gulf nation amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced that it is studying measures to take with regards to current labour relations with partner countries.

A ministry official said that MoHRE is looking into revising current partnerships concerning labour relations with nations refusing to cooperate with evacuation measures undertaken by the UAE to repatriate private sector expatriates who wish to return home, according to official news agency Wam.

The ministry’s move comes after a number of countries did not respond to requests by their nationals to return home following the Covid-19 developments, the official said.

The options currently being studied include the halting of any memoranda of understanding between the ministry and the concerned authorities of non-cooperative countries, as well as the introduction of restrictions or quotas for future recruitment, according to ministry sources.

The source stressed the urgency of partner countries assuming their responsibilities towards their nationals working in the UAE who wish to return to their home countries.

The UAE has offered to fly home stranded Indians and citizens of other countries who wish to be repatriated if they test negative for COVID-19, according to a report published in a Dubai-based English daily on Sunday, citing the UAE’s Ambassador to India Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna.

According to ministry official, the recent humanitarian initiative launched by the ministry in cooperation with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the General Civil Aviation Authority, and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority to enable residents working in the private sector to return to their home countries as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, reports Wam.

More than 25,000 Pakistanis who are stranded in the UAE have registered with their diplomatic missions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to be repatriated, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE told the Gulf News.

The UAE is home to more than 9 million people, mostly expatriates. The nation, which has reported 3,736 virus cases including 20 deaths, has shut malls, restaurants and halted the majority of its flights.

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