Egyptian Envoy Protests to Kuwait over Child Custody Violation
Egypt protested on Saturday to Kuwait for allowing an Italian woman to fly home with her two daughters despite a court decision awarding custody to their Egyptian father.
"I met Ahmad al-Fahad (acting foreign ministry undersecretary) and presented to him the Egyptian official statement issued by the foreign ministry on the matter," Egyptian charge d'affaires Essam al-Issawi told AFP.
"He affirmed that the strong Kuwaiti-Egyptian ties should not be influenced by the incident, especially that the (repatriation) decision was based on a court order," Issawi added.
The Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday that it was "extremely dissatisfied" over the handling of the matter.
Kuwait had allowed them to leave "despite a final ruling by Kuwait's court of cassation granting custody of both girls to the Egyptian national Hisham Abu al-Naja," the statement said.
It also complained that the Egyptian embassy in Kuwait had not been consulted.
The mother, Stefania Atzori, and the girls Sarah, 8, and Dalia, 13, arrived in Italy last week after taking refuge in the Italian embassy in Kuwait.
Issawi said that Egypt fully respects court rulings and "the matter would be handled with wisdom and care."
But he added Egyptian authorities would continue to work to safeguard the legal rights of their subjects.
The two girls and the father, who also hold Italian nationalities, have been living in Kuwait with a legal residence permit on their Egyptian passports, Issawi said.
The Italian embassy in Kuwait said Kuwaiti authorities agreed to the girls' return to Italy for humanitarian and health reasons.
Dalia sought refuge at the Italian embassy in Kuwait on January 16, and she was followed by her mother and sister in June after the confirmation of the custody verdict by the Kuwaiti court.
The mother and father were divorced in 1997 after a 12-year marriage. They have been working in Kuwait for the last decade - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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