Shashi Tharoor denies reports on UAE envoy to India visiting Kerala, says diplomat is in London till September

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said that UAE ambassador to India Ahmed Albanna is unlikely to visit the flood-hit state. His statement came in response to media reports claiming that Albanna is expected to come to Kerala in wake of the current situation.

Taking to Twitter, Tharoor said, "Spoke to my friend UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed AlBanna. He is in London and is not expected back in Delhi till September. So media reports of his imminent visit to Kerala are, to put it mildly, exaggerated."

The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram further wrote that the media had published statements  that Albanna "had never made", and said that that UAE was determining the quantum of assistance that it would want to extend to Kerala.

Earlier, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had claimed that UAE had offered Rs 700 crore as assistance to Kerala. However, the authorities said that there has been no official announcement so far by the UAE on any specific amount as financial aid. Albanna had then said that the government only set up a national emergency committee to provide relief assistance to the people affected by floods in Kerala.

The Kerala government is currently trying to rebuild the state, where the total death toll has now touched 302 and over four lakh are still in relief camps. According to official figures, around three million Indians live and work in the UAE, out of which 80 percent are from Kerala.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 23:51:34 IST