Saudi Arabia lifts covid travel restrictions for India, 3 other nations

News Network
June 20, 2022

Riyadh, June 20: Saudi Arabia today lifted coronavirus-related travel restrictions on its citizens travelling to India and three other countries.

The move is based on the follow-up to the epidemiological situation of the coronavirus pandemic, and what has been submitted by health authorities on the global epidemiological situation, the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting an official source at the Ministry of Interior.

Besides India, the other countries are Ethiopia, Turkey and Vietnam, the report said.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced the lifting of measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the requirement to wear face masks in closed places.

The oil-rich kingdom has already started receiving pilgrims for the annual Hajj season that gets underway in a few weeks.

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News Network
June 29,2022

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Abu Dhabi, June 29: Weeks after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), counted among India’s closest partners, joined criticism from the Islamic world against remarks on the Prophet by the now suspended and expelled BJP leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, popularly known as MBZ, and conveyed condolences on the death of the former president of the Gulf nation, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The two leaders also reviewed bilateral ties.

In a special gesture, Mohamed bin Zayed, accompanied by senior members of the Royal family, received Modi at the Abu Dhabi presidential airport. “I am touched by the special gesture of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of coming to welcome me at Abu Dhabi airport. My gratitude to him,” Modi tweeted in Arabic and English languages.

This is their first interaction after Mohamed bin Zayed’s election as the new President last month. During their meeting, Modi conveyed his condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa, who died on May 13, at the age of 73, after a long illness. He also congratulated Mohamed bin Zayed on his election as President.

“Both leaders reviewed various aspects of India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which they have carefully nurtured over the past few years,” said a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

“During their virtual summit on February 18, both countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which has since entered into force on May 1. CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between both countries,” said the statement.

Bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 was about US$ 72 billion. UAE is India’s third largest trade partner and second largest export destination. UAE’s FDI in India has increased over the past few years and currently stands at over $12 billion.

During the virtual summit, the MEA said, both countries had also released a vision statement which laid the roadmap for bilateral cooperation in diverse areas including trade, investment, energy, food security, health, defence, skills, education, culture and people-to-people ties.

“Both leaders expressed satisfaction that India and UAE continue to forge closer partnership in these areas, building on their close and friendly relations and historical people-to-people connect. India-UAE have a strong energy partnership which is now acquiring new focus on renewable energy,” it said.

Modi thanked Mohamed bin Zayed for “taking great care of the 3.5 million Indian community in UAE, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the MEA said. He also invited him to visit India at an early date, it said.

Earlier this month, UAE had joined criticism from the Islamic world against remarks on the Prophet by the now suspended and expelled BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.

Expressing its “denunciation and rejection of insults of the Prophet”, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), had “affirmed the UAE’s firm rejection of all practices and behaviors that contradict moral and human values and principles” and “underscored the need to respect religious symbols and not violate them, as well as confront hate speech and violence.”

Modi’s last visit to the UAE was in August 2019, when he received the UAE’s highest award, ‘Order of Zayed’.

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News Network
June 30,2022

New Delhi, June 30: India on Thursday logged 18,819 new Covid-19 cases, recording a jump of 29.7 per cent since yesterday, according to the Union Health Ministry data. 

On Wednesday, the nation reported 14,506 single-day infections.

The overall tally jumped to 4,34,52,164, while the active cases breached the 1 lakh mark.

The nation currently has 1,04,555 active Covid-19 cases. 

The death toll jumped to 5,25,116 with 39 more fatalities in the last 24 hours. 

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News Network
June 27,2022

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New York, Jun 27: A 31-year-old Indian-origin man was shot dead while sitting in a parked SUV down the street from his home in New York, according to media reports, days after an Indian national was killed after sustaining an apparent gunshot wound to his head in Maryland.

Satnam Singh was found sitting in the car at around 3:46 pm on Saturday in the South Ozone Park section of Queens with gunshot wounds in his neck and torso, the New York Post newspaper reported quoting New York Police Department as saying.

Singh was sitting in the black Jeep Wrangler Sahara borrowed from a friend when a gunman approached and started shooting, New York Daily News reported.

Singh was rushed from the scene to Jamaica Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Although police said the gunman approached Singh on foot, neighbours said the shots came from a silver-coloured sedan with a black trunk as it passed the Jeep.

“(Singh) was walking up 129th St. going to the car and the other car with the perp in it came up,” said neighbour Joan Cappellani.

“[It] made a U-turn, came back and then ‘Pow! Pow! Pow!’ and then went down 129th St,” she said.

The shooting was caught on her home’s security cameras, which NYPD personnel are reviewing, she said.

Detectives were trying to determine if the gunman was aiming at Singh or was hoping to kill the SUV’s owner and was unaware who was inside.

No arrests have been made.

This comes days after Indian national Sai Charan from Telangana was found injured with an apparent gunshot wound inside his SUV in Baltimore, Maryland.

The 25-year-old was immediately rushed to a trauma centre, where he was pronounced dead on June 19.

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