‘Rescue’ diplomats back in Philippines

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MANILA, May 20: The three Filipino diplomats who were at the heart of a dispute following the controversial rescue of three Filipino household workers in Kuwait and on whom there were arrest warrants have left Kuwait, in what is believed to be part of a move to normalize relations between the two countries, according cnnphilippines.com.

This was confirmed to CNN Philippines by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato on Sunday. Cato went on to say the diplomats arrived ‘home’ last Friday.

They were welcomed by officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and are believed to be undergoing debriefing. After being debriefed, the diplomats will spend time with families and then return to work, said a DFA source.

The senior DFA official did not say how long the debriefing will take or when the diplomats will return to work and in what capacity. It also was not immediately clear whether the diplomats would be based in the country or overseas. The diplomats — whose names have yet to be revealed by the DFA — were involved in the rescue of distressed Filipino workers in Kuwait and were charged with kidnapping.

This caused a diplomatic rift between the two countries, prompting Philippine officials to restore relations and work toward signing the agreement protecting the rights of Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait.

Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano during his visit to Kuwait had said they were working behind the scenes with Kuwaiti counterparts to facilitate the immediate return of the diplomats to Manila.

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