Philippine authorities on Thursday confirmed that Kuwait has imposed an entry ban on Filipinos — but clarified that the restriction doesn't apply to all.

The ban reportedly came into force on May 10, according to the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA).

"All those (with) new entry visas in Kuwait from the Philippines are not allowed to enter," said Paul Raymund Cortes, assistant secretary at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and former consul-general in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

Cortes said the suspension applies to all visas — including tourist, student, business or employment — that was issued to Filipino travellers who are flying to the Gulf country for the first time.

The authority clarified, however, that those with 'Iqama' or residence permits will not be affected. "Those who have residence ID cards will be allowed to enter," Cortes told local media.

When Kuwait's visa suspension for Filipinos was announced, it was reported that the decision was taken because the Southeast Asian country violated some provisions of bilateral labour agreements. Cortes did not provide any comment on the issue.

“In the case of Kuwait, (we cannot deny) that there are very, very friendly relations plus very strong people-to-people links,” he said in the PNA report. “We’re confident that we will be able to find a mutually satisfactory solution to whatever issues we feel need to be discussed with Kuwait.”

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