Solon calls for sobriety amid PH-Kuwait diplomatic row

MANILAA lawmaker appealed for sobriety on Friday in the wake of the diplomatic row between the Philippines and Kuwait over the rescue of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Gulf state.

Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, a member of the House of Representatives' committee on foreign affairs, said confidence-building measures between the two countries should be initiated following the "unfortunate but predictable response" of the Kuwaiti government in declaring Philippine ambassador Renato Villa persona non grata and ordering his expulsion.

"Sobriety must prevail in order to restore the relationship between the Philippines and Kuwait, which were already on the way to signing an agreement that would benefit Filipino workers in the Middle East state," Biazon said in a statement.

"Justifying the actions of the Philippine Embassy team, criticizing the expulsion of the ambassador or even raising the point of inaction by Kuwait authorities to reports of abuse by employers of Filipino workers will not serve the interest of repairing the strained relations," he added.

Biazon noted that an acknowledgment of the shortcomings of Philippine diplomatic officials in Kuwait and an apology by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano should be sufficient to convey the Philippines' remorse over the incident.

He added that acceptance of Kuwait's response should close the matter.

The lawmaker said the government should focus now on moving on from the rift and re-establishing what was already a "fruitful engagement" with Kuwait.

Biazon, however, stressed the need for an internal determination of accountability for the diplomatic faux pas which "unnecessarily brought our country into this avoidable conflict."

"Let those responsible be answerable here at home," he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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