KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait says it stands ready to cooperate with the Philippines to address labor issues facing Filipino workers, but would also "act decisively" against attempts to breach its sovereignty.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah's comments came in response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement that Filipino workers would be permanently banned from heading to Kuwait. More than 260,000 Filipinos work in Kuwait.

Al-Jarallah's comments Sunday were carried by the state-run Kuwait News Agency.

Kuwait last week expelled the Philippine ambassador and recalled its envoy from Manila over a dispute sparked by complaints of the abuse of Filipina housemaids and workers.