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Vietnam Prepares to Evacuate Workers From the Middle East in Case of US-Iran Conflict

Tensions in the Middle East have been extremely high since the United States killed Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike on January 3. 

Following the assassination and Iran's subsequent missile strikes on Iraqi bases, Vietnam's Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs has ordered agencies responsible for sending Vietnamese workers to the Middle East to examine and record every Vietnamese currently working in the region as a safety measure in case an armed conflict breaks out, Nguoi Lao Dong reports.

The deputy chairman of the ministry's Bureau of Overseas Labor has demanded that these agencies contact the employers of Vietnamese workers in the region and gather information such as current workers' living conditions, as well as contact details for Vietnamese employees, labor organizations and representatives to send to the ministry. Each agency is also required to establish a hotline number in case of emergencies, Lao Dong reports.

According to the news sources, there are about 27,000 Vietnamese employees currently working in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, mostly in construction, engineering, or as domestic helpers. About 20,000 of these workers are in Saudi Arabia. In the worst-case scenario, Vietnam will evacuate these workers from the region.

[Photo: A night scene in Dubai/Flickr user Stefano]