The Secretary of Foreign Affairs met this morning with the Kuwaiti Ambassador where they discussed concerns related to the recent controversy over our efforts to assist our nationals in distress in Kuwait.
We reiterated the assurance of our respect for the sovereignty and internal processes of the State of Kuwait and the dignity of the Kuwaiti people even as we continue to work together to address matters of mutual concern.
Secretary Cayetano conveyed our apologies if the Kuwaiti Government felt offended by the actions we took to respond to calls for assistance by our kababayans but emphasized that there was no intent to violate Kuwait sovereignty.
The Secretary conveyed our request for Kuwait’s kind understanding of the sworn duty of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines under the leadership of His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte to protect Filipino nationals anywhere in the world as we look forward to working with their authorities in ensuring that our nationals are protected.
The Philippines and Kuwait agreed on the following:
- To ensure immediate action by Kuwaiti authorities on pending requests for assistance from distressed Filipino workers;
- To facilitate the repatriation of the more than 600 Filipinos currently staying in shelters of the Philippine Embassy;
- To assure justice for pending and future cases filed by Filipinos who are victims of serious abuse and other offenses; and
- To assure proper and humane treatment of Filipinos who may be taken into custody after the April 22 amnesty deadline and to repatriate them immediately with the assistance of the Philippine Embassy.
We remain optimistic that other issues between the Philippines and Kuwait would be resolved soon.