*Qatar has welcomed the announcement of the European Commission (EC) to include Qatar on the list of countries whose citizens are exempt from the Schengen visa
Qatar has welcomed the announcement of the European Commission (EC) to include Qatar on the list of countries whose citizens are exempt from the Schengen visa, and the announcement of beginning the final negotiations between Qatar and the European Union (EU) in this regard.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement yesterday said that facilitating procedures for citizens abroad is a top priority. The statement highlighted the ministry's efforts in facilitating Qataris' travel all over the world. The statement also cited the announcement as evidence of improving bilateral ties in all fields.
The ministry said that the decision will take time to come into effect because some of the required procedures have to be completed.
In a statement available on its website (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_22_2506), the European Commission said it is proposing to lift visa requirements for nationals of Qatar and Kuwait.
Under this proposal, once agreed, Qatar and Kuwait nationals holding biometric passports would no longer need a visa when travelling to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period for business, tourism or family purposes. 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. It will contribute to strengthening relations with Gulf countries, the EC statement said.
High representative/vice-president Josep Borrell said: “Our 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 European Union. The final objective is to ensure regional coherence and ultimately achieve visa free travel for all Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Together with our upcoming Joint Communication on the Gulf, this proposal will reinforce the overall partnership and strengthen the cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council."