Philippines protests expulsion of envoy in Kuwait
The Philippines on Thursday protested the expulsion of its ambassador to Kuwait, arrest warrants against its three diplomats and detention of four Filipinos as a diplomatic dispute over the abuse of Philippine housemaids worsens.
Kuwait withdrew its envoy in Manila on Wednesday evening, preventing the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from meeting the ambassador to clarify issues.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs has summoned Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh but was informed by the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Manila that he has been recalled to his capital for consultations,” it said in a statement.
“The Department served a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Kuwait conveying its strong surprise and great displeasure over the declaration of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa as persona non grata; the continued detention of four Filipinos hired by the Philippine Embassy; and the issuance of arrest warrants against three diplomatic personnel,” it added.
These acts, the DFA said, are “inconsistent” with assurances by the Kuwaiti envoy when he met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in Manila on April 24.
“In that meeting, Secretary Cayetano inquired on the status of Ambassador Villa in Kuwait and Ambassador Althwaikh stated that he is welcome to stay in Kuwait until the end of his tour of duty, and that the government of Kuwait ‘likes’ Ambassador Villa very much,” the DFA said.
Kuwait was angered over the Philippine embassy’s move to conduct a series of rescue operations of mostly Filipino maids allegedly abused by their employers.
Kuwait’s decision to expel Villa came a day after Cayetano issued a formal apology to Kuwait “for certain incidents that the Kuwaiti view as violation of their sovereignty.” DMS