The European Commission on Wednesday proposed exempting citizens of Qatar and Kuwait from EU visas, saying it was the beginning of similar steps with all GCC countries.
The Commission said, in a press release posted on its official website, that under this proposal, once approved by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, citizens of Qatar and Kuwait with biometric passports will be able to enter European territory without the need for a visa for short periods of up to 90 days each period up to 180 days of work, tourism or family purposes.
The proposal came after the Commission assessed a number of criteria, including irregular migration, public policy and security, economic benefits and EU relations with these two countries, contributing to strengthening relations with the Gulf states.
Margaritz Shinas, vice-president of the European Commission, tweeted that the proposal "is the result of the remarkable success of both governments in achieving far-reaching reforms and reflects ... The depth of EU relations with both countries."
"Our proposal to lift visa requirements for Qatari and Kuwaiti citizens is a first step to facilitate the travel of people from the entire region to the EU," EU foreign policy chief Josep Burrell said in the statement, adding: "The ultimate goal is to ensure regional cohesion and ultimately ensure visa-free travel for all GCC countries."
The statement also made it clear that if the proposal is accepted, the EU will negotiate a visa waiver agreement with Qatar and Kuwait, respectively, to ensure reciprocity and an exemption for EU citizens to enter the two countries.
- Font Size
- Reset Mode