UAE seeks visa-free access to Schengen for citizens

European Union is currently considering application to allow visa-free access to bloc
UAE MOVE: The UAE president says he will continue to uphold the countrys travel agreement with Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)
By Claire Valdini
Sun 24 Feb 2013 12:29 PM

The UAE is stepping up its
efforts to see Emirati citizens exempted from visa requirements in the Schengen Area,
the country’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The European Union (EU) is
considering the Gulf state’s application and the UAE is confident it will be
passed, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Butti Al Hamed said in comments
published by state news agency WAM.

“The UAE wishes to express
its appreciation over the fact that its request to be included among the
countries whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen Area
is currently under serious consideration by the European Union,” said Sheikh
Abdullah.

"The UAE realises that this
request is at the beginning of a complex internal debate and subject to
internal EU-procedures,” he added.

The UAE has been working
with the EU for over year in a bid to enable Emiratis citizens to travel visa-free to and within
the Schengen bloc.

The 26 countries in the Schengen
Area include Italy, Germany, Switzerland and France.

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