Norway fall-out: Indian envoys asked to help NRIs in distress

March 3rd, 2012 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, March 3 (IANS) With the ordeal of NRI children in Norway making headlines, India’s external affairs ministry has asked Indian envoys to help expatriate Indians in distress and to designate a welfare officer for NRIs in the missions abroad.

This directive was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Saturday when he met Indian envoys in west and north African countries in the Egyptian capital. He asked them to be more proactive in helping expatriate Indians facing distress situations.

Krishna, who is currently on a three-day visit to Cairo, also informed that the embassies and consulates have been asked to evolve a new mechanism to redress the grievances of expatriate Indians in a timely manner.

The new initiatives include all embassies designating a welfare officer who will be accessible on the open days to meet Indian national every week. The Indian ambassador has been asked to allot two hours every week to meet such Indian in distress.

The alleged poor handling of the case of two children who were separated from their parents in Norway and put under foster care on grounds of alleged negligence forced a rethink by the foreign ministry how best to tackle such cases more effectively.

In fact, the government had to send M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, as special envoy to Norway last week to pressure the Norwegian authorities to help reunite the children with their parents.

Krishna began a three-day trip to Egypt Friday, the first high-profile visit from India in the aftermath of the Arab Spring that toppled the regime of Egypt’s longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak.

On Thursday, Krishna will co-chair the sixth meeting of a joint commission with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr.

A clutch of agreements relating to economic and technological cooperation are expected to be signed after the talks.

Krishna is expected to forge equations with the transitional military-dominated Egyptian government and key stakeholders in the evolving power structure in the country.

He will meet Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the chief of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces of Egypt besides holding talks with the leadership of major Egyptian political parties.

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