Kuwait orders Philippine ambassador to leave in one week

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Ambassador of Kuwait to the Philippines Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh exchange pleasantries following their meeting at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City

Villa on Wednesday confirmed he has been ordered by the Kuwaiti government to leave the country following the controversial rescue of Filipino migrant workers from the homes of their employers. This operation prompted the Kuwait's Ministry of Interior (MoI) to summon Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa. They are related to recent remarks of several Filipino officials which "entailed serious offences against Kuwait".

The Philippines had apologised on Tuesday for what Kuwait viewed as a "flagrant" violation of its sovereignty, with the Philippine foreign secretary saying the embassy was forced to "assist" Filipino workers who sought help as some situations were a matter of life and death.

According to Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, this came against the background of the discovery of a Philippines Embassy staffer "encouraging Filipino domestic workers to flee employers' households".

The Filipino foreign secretary released the statement after a meeting between Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Al-Thwaikh, during which they discussed the matters related to the welfare of overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait.

Cayetano said embassy workers had been carrying out "rescues" of abused Filipinos, adding that this was mostly done in cooperation with Kuwaiti police but in some cases staff acted alone due to urgency.

"I apologise to my counterpart and we apologise to the Kuwaiti government, the Kuwaiti people and the leaders of Kuwait if they were offended by some actions taken by the Philippine embassy in Kuwait", Cayetano told reporters in Manila.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano apologized to the Kuwaiti government over the action made recently by the Philippine Embassy that is against the laws of the Middle Eastern country.

Kuwaiti authorities detained three drivers who drove the embassy cars in the "rescue" operations.

"We are optimistic that following our conversation with Ambassador Saleh, the remaining issues between the Philippines and Kuwait will be resolved", it added. Cayetano said they had a cordial and "warm" discussion.

The two countries had since been trying to work out an agreement to protect the rights of Filipino workers in Kuwait, particularly some 170,000 maids. Duterte previously said he will visit Kuwait to witness the signing of the accord.

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