UAE keen to open consulate in Kerala

July 18th, 2011 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 18 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking forward to setting up a consulate in Kerala within the next one year, the UAE’s ambassador said here Monday.

Ambassador Mohammed Sultan Abdullah Al-Owais, who called on Chief Minister Oomen Chandy at his office here, gave him an official letter to this effect.

Chandy later told reporters that since the final decision will be taken by the central government, he cannot make a formal announcement.

“Since this is a diplomatic issue, I am not competent to make this announcement. Let the announcement come through the proper channel,” said Chandy.

Besides its embassy in New Delhi, the UAE has a consulate in Mumbai.

Al-Owais also told Chandy that investors from the UAE are keen to invest in the state.

“We are very keen for this because the state wants investment,” said state Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty, who took part in discussions with the ambassador.

K.C. Joseph, state minister for non-resident Keralites, brought up the issue of fraudulent job visas.

“We have brought to the attention of the ambassador the numerous complaints of fake job visas, where innocent people from the state are being cheated. He has assured that this issue will be seriously looked into,” Joseph said.

The ambassador also put forward a request to Chandy to increase the frequency of flights operating from the UAE to Kerala.

According to a government study, over a million Keralites are working in the UAE.

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