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With its “historic friendship” with Kuwait, the Philippines is optimistic the two nations’ diplomatic rift will be fixed after Kuwait committed to cooperate with the Philippine government to maintain ties.

“It will be a good start para maumpisahan natin na maayos, kung ano man ang ating misunderstandings (It will be a good start so that we can move forward and iron out our misunderstandings),” Noordin Pendosina Lomondot, Consul General at the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday.

“We are optimistic we could fix this spat,” he added. “These are all trials, but we could overcome this.”

Kuwait was angered by the rescue of distressed Filipino workers by the team of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano who authorized the release of the rescue video to media. Kuwait issued two diplomatic protests, and declared Ambassador Renato Villa as persona non grata from the country. Lomondot said Villa would arrive in Manila on May 2.

The Kuwait News Agency on Sunday, quoting Kuwait Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah, reported that the Gulf state is willing to work with Manila to continue and revive its relations. The Kuwait government is looking forward to work with the Philippines to honor mutual interest, the news report added.

Responding to the earlier speech of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Al-Jarallah said Kuwait is ready to assist Manila in addressing labor issues that mostly affect household service workers.

He also noted that Kuwait ensures the safety and rights of all nationals, including Filipinos, with their labor laws. This, after he recognized the contribution of the Filipino community who are working in different sectors in the Arab state.

Al-Jarallah said Kuwait shared the chief executive’s desire to maintain “deeply-rooted” ties, adding this “historic friendship” could help overcome the “exceptional circumstance” Philippines and Kuwait are in.

On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and other Cabinet members wiould visit Kuwait on the 1st week of May.

At present, the Department of Foreign Affairs is working on the assignment of a charg√© d’affaires in Kuwait. “They are still looking for a senior officer,” Lomondot said. (PNA)