Gatchalian reminds Kuwait special envoy of 2 vital missions
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian prodded the new Special Envoy to Kuwait on Wednesday to pursue with “utmost urgency” two “critical steps” that could result in an amicable settlement of the diplomatic dispute between the Philippines and Kuwait.
“The appointment of a Special Envoy to Kuwait, Abdullah Mama-o, comes at a critical juncture in our diplomatic dispute with Kuwait. Tensions remain high, but there still exists a clear path toward an amicable and mutually beneficial end to the dispute,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“There are two critical steps along this path, and I urge the Special Envoy and DFA to pursue them with the utmost urgency,” he said.
First, the senator said, the Philippine government must ensure that the proposed memorandum of agreement (MOA) that would provide better protection for OFWs in Kuwait would become a “done deal.”
“The signing of a strong bilateral agreement that establishes comprehensive rights and efficient protection mechanisms for OFWs stationed in Kuwait is the best way to safeguard their long-term security and welfare. No agreement, no deployment,” Gatchalian said.
The second step, he said, is for the Philippine government to exert all its efforts to secure the release and repatriation of 7 Filipinos, who participated in the controversial rescue missions of distressed OFWs in Kuwait.
“They are guilty of nothing more than offering selfless aid to distressed OFWs during times of dire need. They are not criminals. They must be allowed to come home at once,” the senator added.
The diplomatic ties between the countries have turned sour after a video of the rescue missions went viral on social media. /cbb
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