A dispute between Kuwait and the Philippines over reports of abuse of Philippine workers took a turn for the worse yesterday with the Philippines expressing "great displeasure" about Kuwait's expulsion of its ambassador.
The conflict has been simmering for three months, sparked by reports that several Filipino domestic workers had been driven to suicide by abuse at the hands of Kuwaiti employers.
The two countries have been working on a pact to protect expatriate workers after the Philippines banned its workers from going to Kuwait.
But on Wednesday, Kuwait ordered the Philippine ambassador to leave within a week and recalled its own envoy for consultations after the Philippine foreign secretary said the embassy was forced to "assist" Filipino workers who sought help as some situations were a matter of life and death.
The Philippine foreign ministry yesterday summoned the Kuwaiti ambassador to demand an explanation for Kuwait's action but was told the envoy, Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh, had left the country late on Wednesday.
"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 ministry said in a statement.
“These acts are inconsistent with the assurances and representations made by the Kuwaiti ambassador on the various concerns that were brought to his attention."