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‘Di ba malinaw ang usapan? Cayetano finds Kuwait’s expulsion of PH envoy ‘disturbing’

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano finds Kuwait’s expulsion of Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa “deeply disturbing” considering the assurances given to him by Kuwaiti Ambassador Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh.

In a press conference in Singapore Thursday (April 26), Cayetano the Philippines had been assured by Althwaikh that “matters will be worked out” when the government issues an apology over its conduct of a rescue mission for distressed Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“After the Philippines was asked to issue an apology with the assurance that the matters will be worked out, this action taken by Kuwait is deeply disturbing and very inconsistent with the assurances given to me personally by the Kuwaiti Ambassador,” he said.

During their meeting on April 24, Cayetano said Althwaikh told him that Kuwait likes Villa “very much” and that the envoy is welcome in the Gulf state until the end of his tour.

He added that the Kuwaiti envoy also gave an assurance that “no harm shall befall any employee” of the Philippine embassy in Kuwait.

The Gulf state declared Villa a personan non grata and ordered him to leave the country a day after Cayetano apologized to Kuwait “for certain incidents that the Kuwaiti view as violation of their sovereignty.”

Kuwait was angered by the release of videos showing Philippine embassy officials rescuing a maid who was allegedly abused by her employer. It accused Manila of violating its sovereignty and laws by failing to coordinate with the police for the mission.

The Philippine government has protested the expulsion of Villa, the arrest warrants issued against three diplomats, and the detention of four other Filipinos in Kuwait.

The Gulf state, however, has withdrawn its envoy in Manila, preventing the DFA from seeking clarification on issues related to the diplomatic crisis.