- Kuwait has reportedly invited President Rodrigo Duterte for a visit
- The two countries are seeking to settle their differences over abuse of migrant workers
- It remains unclear whether Duterte accepted the invitation or not
MANILA, Philippines – Kuwait has reportedly invited President Rodrigo Duterte for a visit amid the growing tension after an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was found dead for a year in a freezer inside an unoccupied apartment early this month.
According to Reuters, Duterte has been invited by Kuwait to “settle their differences over allegations of extreme abuse of migrant workers”.
Also, Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah said on Monday that the two countries have agreed to sign a deal that would regulate and improve the working conditions of about 200,000 migrant Filipino workers in the Gulf state.
“We proposed to the Philippine authorities to resolve and contain these issues and not to escalate them in the media. There was agreement on this … and we received a response,” Reuters quoted the Kuwaiti official as saying.
An article on Arab Times published on February 18 said former National Assembly member Kamel Al-Awadhi described the statements of the Philippine leader on the situation of the OFWs in Kuwait as ‘far from the truth’.
“Al-Awadhi pointed out the Filipino president raised the issue through the media, instead of using diplomatic channels. He hopes the Filipino president will visit Kuwait to personally look into the situation of Filipino workers here before making judgment,” the article read.
Last month, Duterte ordered the suspension of sending workers to Kuwait amid reports of abuse by employers which drove some OFWs to take their own life.
The situation became worse following the discovery of body of 29-year-old Joanna Demafelis in a freezer last February 9; prompting Duterte to accuse Kuwait of not taking care of the migran workers.
It remains unknown whether Duterte has accepted Kuwait’s invitation.