Indian community in Riyadh gives rousing welcome to new envoy

Newly appointed Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed with community leaders during the reception in Riyadh on Friday night. – Photo by KM Wasif.

Saudi Gazette

Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said on Saturday his doors would always remain open before community members who wanted to approach the embassy with genuine concerns and constructive suggestions.

"There should be no barrier between a country’s ambassador and its people living abroad," Sayeed said while speaking at a community reception accorded to him in Riyadh Friday evening.

“Involving the very people whom I serve has been my style of work from the very beginning," he said, referring to his tenure as the passport officer in Hyderabad.

The new ambassador recalled that he was dubbed as the people's diplomat during his tenure as the consul general of India in Jeddah and said he would uphold a similar approach as the ambassador.

Dr. Sayeed said he would be easily accessible to the community as public diplomacy would be one of his top priorities.

He urged non-resident Indians to play an effective role along with the embassy in addressing the problems faced by their compatriots.

The new envoy assured to extend all possible assistance to the 3 million-strong Indian community in Saudi Arabia. He said Indians had become the most preferred workforce in Saudi Arabia not only due to their expertise but also due to their sense of discipline.

Referring to the recent state visit of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Dr. Sayeed said it would open a new chapter in bilateral relations. He added that the Indo-Saudi relations scaled new heights in the last few years.

He said since this was his third posting in Saudi Arabia, he was fully familiar with the Kingdom, a fact that would help him meet the community's needs more effectively.

Deputy Chief of Mission Dr. Suhail Ajaz Khan spoke about the need of reaching out to the community as well as the Indian businessmen in the Kingdom.

Prominent community worker Shihab Kottukad said the embassy had always been addressing the genuine grievances of the community and hoped that it would be stepped up further under the leadership of the new ambassador.

The education facilities for children, the state of community schools, access to school auditoriums for community events and expediting the services to people in distress were among other issues highlighted by the community leaders.

Community organizations representing various Indian states and ethnic groups greeted the new ambassador with warmth and felicitated him on a grand scale.