World Bulletin / News Desk
Reacting to a statement by Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser al-Subaih, who said the Gulf state wants to remain in direct communication with Manila to resolve the crisis, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano expressed gratitude to Manila’s longtime friend and acknowledged its assurances to safeguard the welfare of Filipino workers in Kuwait.
"This gesture on the part of Kuwait, a country with which we have a shared history and strong people-to-people ties, will allow us to move forward and hurdle the challenges we face," Cayetano said in a statement quoted by local media.
“We acknowledged with heartfelt thanks to the assurances of Kuwait to work with us in protecting the rights and promoting the welfare of Filipinos working there.”
Affirming the strong friendship between the Philippines and Kuwait, Cayetano said the two countries’ relationship would "withstand this misunderstanding".
Kuwait earlier said it rejects any breach of its sovereignty. Subaih, who reiterated the Gulf state’s serious stance on the issue, on Monday said Kuwait does not want the crisis to be escalated.
Kuwait last week expelled the Philippine ambassador and recalled its ambassador in Manila following the release of videos showing Philippine embassy staff rescuing distressed Filipino workers from their employers’ homes following reports of abuse.
A day prior to the expulsion, Cayetano extended Manila’s apology for the “emergency action to protect Filipinos”.
Upon his arrival from the ASEAN Summit in Singapore last Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he has no hatred towards the Kuwaiti government and does not intend to worsen the crisis between the two countries.
Duterte, however, urged the 260,000 overseas Filipinos workers in the Gulf state to come home and declared a ban on the deployment of workers in Kuwait to be permanent.