KUWAIT CITY -- Kuwait says it stands ready to co-operate with the Philippines to address labour 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.