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  Politics
European Parliament backs visa-free travel for UAE citizens
27/02/2014   |   06:44 PM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
BRUSSELS, Feb 27 (KUNA) The European Parliament Thursday gave the green light to granting citizens from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the right to travel freely in the 26 European countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days.
The agreement also includes citizens from 16 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Colombia and Peru.
It was adopted by 523 votes in favour and 41 against.
"We take a step forward towards enhanced cooperation with these countries, and on the other, we send a positive message to citizens by clarifying the criteria for including third countries in the positive list", said rapporteur Mariya Gabriel who led the negotiations for the EP.
The visa waivers shall apply from the date of entry into force of an agreement on visa exemption to be concluded with the EU.
Nationals of 16 ACP countries which will be able to travel visa-free to the EU are: Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The agreement includes a new article defining clearer criteria for including third countries in the visa-waiver list.
The visa waivers for nationals of the 16 ACP countries, UAE, Colombia and Peru "shall apply from the date of entry into force of an agreement on visa exemption to be concluded with the European Union", says the text.
The agreement still needs to be formally adopted by the EU Council of Ministers and published in the EU Official Journal before it comes into force. (end) nk.mt KUNA 271844 Feb 14NNNN
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