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Electronic passport helps Kuwait’s Schengen visa waiver bid: official

KUWAIT: Walid Al-Khabizi, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Europe Affairs (right) and Bulgarian Ambassador to Kuwait Boris Borissov cut the ceremony’s cake. —Photos by Joseph Shagra

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s adoption of the e-passport system will hopefully help prepare the ground for exempting Kuwaiti nationals from visa requirements in the Schengen Area, a Kuwaiti official said. The e-passport system is one of the EU technical requirements for a Schengen visa waiver, not all requirements, said Walid Al-Khabizi, the Assistant Foreign Minister for Europe Affairs. The Kuwaiti move could facilitate the negotiations in this regard, he added.

Ambassador Khabizi made the comments during a reception, hosted Thursday by Bulgaria Embassy here to celebrate the country’s national day. The Ambassador said that the Kuwaiti-Bulgarian relations have been growing steadily since 1962. The signing of 26 agreements on cooperation between the two countries helped augment the relations in various fields and brought their views on various international issues close to each other, he said.

The number of Kuwaiti tourists, visiting Bulgaria rose to nearly 3,000 last year, he said, noting that the number of Kuwaiti students, studying at Bulgarian colleges also went up steadily over the last years. On investment cooperation, he said Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) is mulling a plan for long-term investments in, and tapping into the potentials of trade exchanges with, Bulgaria which is an active member of the European Union and the NATO alliance. – KUNA

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