Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PHL wary of Saudi-Iran row in Middle East

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said it is monitoring the situation in the Middle East, particularly the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, considering the number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there.
"We are monitoring very closely this development in the Middle East particularly the relations between Saudi and Iran. It is important to us," DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said.
Tensions between the two Middle East powers flared up after Saudi Arabia recently executed Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was arrested in 2012 and convicted of terrorism and other charges. Nimr was also a critic of the ruling al-Saud family in Saudi Arabia.
Reacting to Nimr's execution, the Shia-led Iran said the Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia would pay a "high price" for it.
"We have a strong interest in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Middle East," Jose said. "We have many OFWs in the Middle East so we want peace and stability in the Middle East."
He clarified that the DFA has not issued an advisory to the Filipinos in the Middle East yet.
"Wala pa naman, but we continue to monitor the situation there," he said.
According to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), there were about 2,489,430 Filipinos working in the Middle East with 1,028,802 in Saudi Arabia and 4,876 in Iran as of December 2013.  Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News

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