Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed announced Wednesday that Kuwait has agreed to lift its freeze on the recruitment of manpower from the Asian nation. "In fact there was no real ban. It was a freeze. Now, after signing a technical agreement on the recruitment of manpower, the freeze is over," Sheikh Hasina told a press conference before leaving Kuwait at the end of a three-day visit.
Sheikh Hasina said that during her talks a draft treaty for the extradition of criminals was discussed but had not yet been signed. Kuwait slapped a ban on the recruitment of any more Bangladeshi workers in 1999, apparently after a Bangladeshi laborer strangled his 90-year-old Kuwaiti employer, stole his money and fled home.
The prime minister said the culprit was under custody awaiting trial and that Kuwait had demanded his extradition for trial in the emirate. Kuwait's Social Affairs and Labor Minister Abdel Wahab al-Wazzan and Bangladeshi Labor and Employment Minister Mohammad Abdulmannan signed the recruitment accord on Tuesday, Bangladeshi ambassador Abdulla al-Hassan said.
Sheikh Hasina who arrived in Kuwait on Monday met with the emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, and held talks with Kuwait's acting premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
She also met the ministers of oil, interior and finance, addressed representatives of the 200,000-strong Bangladeshi community and visited the 5,000 Bangladeshi troops stationed in Kuwait. The troops were deployed for mine-clearing and other missions after the 1991 Gulf War when a US-led multinational force ended a seven-month Iraqi occupation of the tiny but oil-rich state. — (AFP, Kuwait City)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)