THE Philippine Embassy on Monday relayed to the Kuwaiti government that Malacañang has set President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s visit to Kuwait on April 30 or before the Ramadan period starts, Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa said.
Villa met with the protocol chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday at 11 a. m. (Kuwait time) to relay the date, after Malacañang informed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Sunday.
The envoy said that the visit is not yet final until after the Amiri Diwan, the office of H.E. Sheikh Sabah IV Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, agreed that the date is not in conflict with the Emir’s scheduled commitments.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency at around 1:08 p.m. (Kuwait time), Villa said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) already received the information.
Villa said that the MOFA will now confirm with the Amiri Diwan the Emir’s availability on April 30. “They (MOFA) will confirm.”
Should the two parties fail to reach an agreement on the date, Villa said they would try to set the meeting in early May, before the period of Ramadan starts in Kuwait.
“They will reply formally if they would be amenable to the date or it could be delayed or they may give a counter date,” he said.
Villa said the decision is expected tomorrow, Tuesday.
Earlier, the Kuwaiti government extended an invitation to the Philippine government to visit the Gulf state, after issues on Filipino domestic workers in the state hogged the headlines.
More than a month later, as negotiations moved forward on the creation of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Kuwait, Duterte confirmed he will travel to the Middle East to witness the deal’s signing.