Khaled Al-Jarallah

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah announced Friday, the implementation of the second phase of the nationals’ repatriation plan this week, stressing that Kuwait will not abandon any citizen anywhere in the world. Jarallah said in a statement to Kuwait TV that the repatriation plans are carefully set up and take into account the commitment to citizens’ comfort in full and those plans are govern by the standards set by health authorities and their ability to handle nationals coming from abroad.

The ministry started working on citizens’ return from the first day of the crisis by forming an emergency committee in the ministry that directed the diplomatic missions of the state to count the numbers of the citizens abroad, he added. He stated that the numbers of stranded and sick citizens were limited and the embassies were directed to activate the emergency phone numbers in addition to activating the ministry’s emergency phone numbers, indicating that the number of Kuwaiti tourists abroad is about 23,000. Jarallah affirmed that the ministry urged the embassies abroad to provide housing and food for citizens, and to ensure their safety.

Furthermore, Jarallah said that the first phase included 2,710 citizens, with 15 trips from 11 countries, from 25 to 29 March. He added that the ministry is currently working on preparing the lists in preparation for the second phase, and it will be from the same countries from which citizens were evacuated in the first stage in addition to other countries, according to the conditions of citizens and to the required standards.

Expired residencies
On the ministry’s role towards the expatriates with expired residencies in Kuwait, Jarallah said that the ministry was keen to meet with the heads of diplomatic missions of those countries to contact with their nationals and urge them to leave the country, expressing thanks to the Ministry of Interior for facilities and privileges provided to violators.

Regarding the praise from the World Health Organization (WHO) to Kuwait, as one of WHO largest donors, Jarallah said, “We are proud of this praise,” stressing that Kuwait is in contact with the organization since the beginning of the crisis to inspect and support the needs of countries. He stated that the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah were to dedicate Kuwait’s humanitarian role in this crisis and to continue communication with WHO and providing very generous support to it in order to assist the needy countries.

COVID-19 countermeasures
In other news, Jarallah held talks Friday with US Ambassador in Kuwait Alina Romanowski on regional and international developments amidst ongoing efforts to curb spread of the novel coronavirus. Jarallah and Romanowski also discussed the relations between the two countries, a foreign ministry statement said. The meeting was attended by Assistant Foreign Minister for Jarallah’s Office Ayham Al-Omar.

Separately, Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on Friday phoned his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, discussing overall historic and close relations bonding the two friendly countries in various sectors. The phone talks also covered means of boosting cooperation for coping with spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic throughout the globe.

In the meantime, Kuwait’s Embassy in London urged citizens in Britain whose visas were about to expire and were unable to return back to Kuwait to contact the immigration department to correct their status. The Embassy, in a statement, said Kuwaiti tourists or patients whose visas were about to expire should personally contact the immigration office at: (0044) 800-678-1767 or Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk. It added the immigration office working hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. – KUNA