European Commission Proposes Visa-Free Travel For Qatar and Kuwait Nationals

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed lifting visa requirements for the nationals of Qatar and Kuwait while traveling to the European Union countries.

The EU executive body in a statement said that under this proposal, once agreed, Qatar and Kuwait citizens holding “biometric passports” would no longer need a visa when traveling to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days.

“This proposal comes after the Commission assessed a number of criteria including irregular migration, public policy and security, economic benefits, and the Union’s relations with the two countries,” the statement reads.

EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell said that the proposal to lift visa requirements for Qatari and Kuwaiti nationals “is a first step” to make it easier for people from the entire region to travel to the EU.

Borrel added that the EU’s “final objective is to ensure regional coherence and ultimately achieve visa-free travel for all Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”

Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said that the “short-stay visa-free travel” to the EU for Qatari and Kuwaiti citizens facilitates “people-to-people contacts” and strengthening business, social and cultural ties.

Schinas hailed the proposal as an important achievement for citizens of these two Gulf States, and hoped the European Parliament and the Council approve the proposal swiftly.

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