KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Ambassador Jasem Al-Budaiwi has been appointed Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, succeeding compatriot Nayef Al-Hajraf. Budaiwi was most recently Kuwait's ambassador to the US, and previously served as Kuwait's ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and NATO.

Hajraf welcomed Budaiwi, congratulating him on assuming his duties, which will start as of Feb 1, 2023, wishing him success in performing the tasks and responsibilities entrusted to him to lead the work at the general secretariat, as well as working to strengthen the process of joint GCC action in order to achieve its lofty goals towards more cooperation and integration among GCC countries in a way that achieves the directives of the leaders of the Gulf states.

"It will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening the regional and international status of the Gulf Cooperation Council, preserving the council's gains and working towards more achievements to serve member states and the people of the GCC," Hajraf said, pointing to Budaiwi's impressive diplomatic career.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Sunday presented to HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the newly-assigned GCC Secretary General Budaiwi and Deputy Foreign Minister Mansour Al-Otaibi at Bayan Palace.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem receives Philippines Charge d’Affaires Jose Cabrera.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem also received Philippines Charge d'Affaires Jose Cabrera on Sunday to offer condolences on the death of domestic worker Jullebee Ranara, who was the victim of a brutal murder in Kuwait. A statement by the Philippine Embassy said Sheikh Salem asked Cabrera to convey his deepest condolences to the family and the Philippine government on the brutal and tragic death of Ranara.

Sheikh Salem condemned her murder and said the perpetrator, who has been arrested and is currently in detention, will be punished for this heinous crime. Sheikh Salem added that the actions of the perpetrator do not in any way reflect the character and values of Kuwaiti society, the Kuwaiti people and the Kuwaiti government.

The statement said Cabrera expressed appreciation for the cooperation and assistance of Kuwaiti authorities, particularly for the swift action and response in the apprehension of the suspect and in the clearances for the repatriation of Ranara's remains. Sheikh Salem said the ministry will provide the Philippine Embassy all necessary assistance as it continues to monitor Ranara's case.

Cabrera informed Sheikh Salem that based on statements by Susan Ople, Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers, there is no ban on deployment to Kuwait. Sheikh Salem and Cabrera also discussed bilateral relations between the Philippines and Kuwait and expressed a mutual commitment to closer dialogue and engagement between the two countries, especially in the coming months.

The charred remains of Ranara, 35, were discovered in the Salmi desert last week. It was reported she was pregnant and had been subjected to blunt-force trauma. The 17-year-old son of her employer was arrested by police.