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EU Council Reportedly Supports Negotiations on Abolition of Schengen Visas for Citizens of Gulf Countries

It is reported that the Council of the European Union has supported negotiations on the abolition of Schengen visas for citizens of Gulf countries.

According to media reports, the EU foreign ministers expressed this support during a meeting in Luxembourg on June 20.

A document released after the meeting said the EU Council welcomes the EU Commission’s technical discussions with the Gulf Cooperation Council, TheSchengen.com reports.

However, Gulf countries still have to fulfill the remaining requirement in order to achieve the goal of exempting their citizens from the Schengen visa requirements.

And through an official press release issued on the same day, June 20, the Council announced that it had approved the results of a strategic partnership with the Gulf region. According to the council, the goal is to build a strategic partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council and its member states.

“The enhanced and deepened cooperation between the European Union and the Gulf partners is a major priority for the European Union and a common interest in light of addressing a series of global and regional challenges jointly with our Gulf partners,” the council’s statement said.

It was noted that the Council’s conclusions, along with the High Representative and UNHCR’s joint liaison, provide an operational roadmap towards a strategic partnership in a wide range of key policy areas, including energy security, climate change, green transformation, and a robust response to global humanitarian and development needs as well as Global and regional security challenges.

The Council noted that people-to-people contacts are an essential part of the EU’s strong partnership with the Gulf region.

In addition, she stressed that visa facilitation, human rights and women’s empowerment, among others, are key components of cooperation between the EU and the Gulf states.

The council added that “enhanced cooperation in the fields of education, research, culture, youth, women’s empowerment, human rights, and facilitation of visas are essential components of this cooperation.”

With regard to the recent increased political momentum, the Council highlighted the need to further strengthen the political dialogue and institutional cooperation between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Moreover, the same emphasized that the EU will use all its tools and instruments, including the External Energy Sharing Strategy, the Green Deal and the Global Gateway, to ensure the effective, efficient and rapid implementation of this strategic partnership.

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Source: schengenvisainfo.com

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