Multiple routes vs Kuwait crisis bared

The Philippine government is taking “multiple routes” to resolve the diplomatic crisis between the Philippines and Kuwait.

This was revealed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano when he met with Philippine Ambassador Renato Villa who arrived late Wednesday night in Manila from Kuwait. Villa went home after he was declared persona non grata by the Government of Kuwait due to the Embassy-led rescue operations on distressed Filipinos that angered the Arab State.

Cayetano together with Department of Foreign Affairs officials, including Undersecretary Ernesto Abella met Villa upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at past 11 pm Wednesday.

With Villa’s departure as top Philippine envoy in Kuwait, Cayetano said the country will move forward.

“You cannot take the relationship with one country away from how we’re taking care of the Filipinos. It goes together. So as they show us that they will take care of Filipino workers and they’re helping us with the things, we’re also taking care of ‘yung mga sa kanila. We’re talking.”

Cayetano also confirmed talks are on going between the Philippine and Kuwaiti officials to resolve the present diplomatic row between the two countries.

“We don’t want to go into the details. As the President said, he already made his statement, the Kuwaitis already said na mapag-usapan. So nag-uusap na ngayon,” he stressed.

“The who, when, how, leave that to us muna because we don’t want to box anyone. We’re taking multiple routes, so parallel ang efforts ng Department of Labor and Department of Foreign Affairs but nagkakaisa kami sa direksyon.”

Cayetano said a senior diplomat, whom he failed to identify is manning the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait.

“We have a senior official there now, and then Ambassador will be advising us from here now,” Cayetano said.

In the next few days, the DFA will be focused on a list of priority items, including the repatriation of around 800 distressed Filipinos at the shelter.

Cayetano said they will also negotiate with Kuwait to allow diplomats served with warrants of arrest to come home.

“As we continue with our engagement with our Kuwaiti counterparts, we would like to ask for the kind patience and understanding of our people, most especially those who have been affected by the recent misunderstanding,” Cayetano said.

“We assure everyone that the Philippine Government will remain guided by the national interest in seeking solutions that would be beneficial to all concerned.”

The official guaranteed that the agency is following an objective -- to ensure welfare of overseas Filipinos abroad.

“We will get to that objective while repairing any damage or restoring the strength of our relationship with Kuwait,” he added.