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Kuwait Speaker pushes for Schengen visa exemption

BRUSSELS: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanem and his accompanying delegation on Saturday wrapped up four-day official visit to the Belgian capital Brussels during which he held talks with European parliamentarians on prospects of cancelling the Schengen visa for Kuwaiti nationals. “Al-Dustour” news network, tongue of the Kuwaiti parliament, said in a statement that Al-Ghanem’s delegation was seen off upon departure by Kuwait Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, head of the mission at the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Jassem Al-Bedaiwi, and a number of Kuwaiti diplomats.

The delegation included Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Rajehi, Undersecretary of the Parliamentary Caucus MP Obaid AlMutairi, the Caucus Secretary MP Hamad Al-Matar, the Treasurer MP Salman Al-Azmi and the Caucus Member Musaed Al-Ardhi. Al-Ghanem, during the visit, held talks with European Parliament Chairperson Roberta Metsola, heads of committees and blocs representing political parties in the EP, focusing on the Schengen issue.

He had expressed strong optimism that the EP would eventually vote in favor of relieving the Kuwaiti citizens of the Schengen visa, noting that such a step is necessary not only for the nationals but also for Kuwaiti-European businesses. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammed Obaid Al-Rajhi, met with Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for interior affairs in Brussels on Friday and discussed the issue of exemption of Kuwaiti citizens from the Schengen visa obligation.

In a statement for KUNA, Al-Rajhi said there was good cooperation between the two sides and he hoped to have good news for the Kuwait people on the completion of this file soon. Moreover, Al-Rajhi expressed his deep and special thanks for the Kuwaiti diplomatic mission in Brussels led by Ambassador Jasem Al-Budaiwi and all the staff for all their sincere efforts in this regard.

Minister Al-Rajhi is currently visiting the Belgian capital accompanying the Kuwaiti National Assembly speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and his delegation for talks with the European Parliament president and heads of other EP committees on the issue of Schengen visa. The European Commission announced on 27 April a proposal to lift visa requirements between EU countries and Kuwait.

However, this means that when the proposal is approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers, citizens of Kuwait would no longer need a visa to travel to the European Union (except for Ireland), as well as the Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein). – KUNA


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