KUWAIT: Kuwait Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Mohammad Al-Sabah said some 366 citizens have crossed Nuwaiseeb border crossing from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, marking the start of land repatriation. Sheikh Ahmad, at an online news conference, said there were 4,117 citizens who registered in the ‘With You’ platform, a tool designed to facilitate return of nationals. The government launched the platform, withyou.e.gov.kw, for citizens to register their personal information to facilitate their repatriation. Sheikh Ahmad urged Kuwaitis in Saudi Arabia who did not register in the platform to do so, and contact the Kuwaiti Embassy in Riyadh. He said many citizens did not wish to return, but he urged them to register in the platform “in case they changed their minds in future.”

Sheikh Ahmad talked about the repatriation plan which brought around 30,000 citizens through numerous flights from 103 countries. “The plan was a challenge for all of us but we accomplished it due to the collaboration of all government departments,” he said. Sheikh Ahmad expressed gratitude for His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his desire to see citizens brought back home, as well as His Highness the Amir’s appreciation of all those who contributed to the repatriation plan. The Foreign Minister cited challenges that faced the repatriation plan: citizens were in some 103 countries, some nations were in complete lockdown, the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in these countries and collapse of health care systems, as well as partial and full curfew in these countries which meant restrictions of movement.

Sheikh Ahmad, who also heads the national repatriation committee, inspected on Tuesday measures set to receive citizens returning to the country by land. Sheikh Ahmad headed to the Nuwaiseeb border point to check upon the measures set in line with the plan beginning today and lasting until May 20. He also headed to Al-Khairan Resort to look into the efforts carried out by first line responders in charge with the safety of those returning via land. — KUNA