06/14/2017, 09.03
NEPAL - QATAR
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Gulf crisis frightens 400,000 Nepalese workers in Qatar

by Christopher Sharma

Fears of being left  without food and salaries; of being involved in armed clashes. Some Nepalese could become exploited by terrorists.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - The cutting off of diplomatic relations between some Middle Eastern countries and Qatar, accused of supporting Daesh (Islamic State) and having relations with Iran, frightens Nepalese migrant workers. According to local sources, there are at least 400,000 Nepalese migrants in the Gulf Country.

Ramesh Koiral, Nepal Ambassador to Qatar commented: "We cannot foresee the future. For now, Nepalese citizens seem confused. We circulated the message to contact us immediately for any problems. "

"We were shocked by the news. 90% of Qatar's food is imported and we heard that food stocks in department stores will end soon, "says Rajendrta Sharma, a Nepalese worker who has been living in Doha for 14 years.

Rajan Chetri, a migrant worker in Qatar, explains what their fears are: losing their salaries when companies can no longer pay for them; The concern that some Nepalese are being exploited by terrorists, attracted by promises "of earning more"; And the possibility of a war with other countries.

However, Chetri adds they have no choice but to stay: "Many of us came to Qatar selling small properties in Nepal or asking for loans. We need to recover that money, we have to work at all costs. "

Krishna Bahadur Mahar, the new Nepalese foreign minister, said they are "gathering information and closely monitoring the situation in Qatar. If Nepalese citizens are in trouble, we will take measures to protect them. "

Last June 5, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen broke diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region by supporting terrorists, including Isis, al-Qaeda and Iran.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways Nepal has stated in a press release that scheduled flights from Kathmandu and Doha are suspended from 9 June. Etihad Airways operated two daily flights to Qatar through Abu Dhabi.

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