NEWS

EU To Look Into Visa Issues

  The European Union (EU) has agreed to look into the con­cerns raised by Prime Min­ister Voreqe Bainimarama, over the issuing of visas to Fijians trav­elling to EU-member countries. This
25 May 2018 10:51
EU To Look Into Visa Issues
European Union’s Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Julian Wilson, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ioane Naivalurua during the Fiji-EU third Enhanced Political Dialogue press conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on May 24, 2018. Photo: Fijian Government

 

The European Union (EU) has agreed to look into the con­cerns raised by Prime Min­ister Voreqe Bainimarama, over the issuing of visas to Fijians trav­elling to EU-member countries.

This was stated by the EU Ambas­sador to Fiji and the Pacific, Julian Wilson, during a press conference at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.

Mr Wilson said this was a very clear prioritisation raised by Mr Bainimarama during the High Lev­el Political Dialogue between Fiji and the EU this week.

He said this was a matter of con­cern about the issuance of visas to Fijian citizens. Mr Bainima­rama had said Fiji was one of the few Pacific Island countries whose citizens had to get visas before they could travel to European Union member countries. Others could get them on arrival.

Participants at the third European Union high level Political Dialogue Forum at Suvavou House in Suva on May 23, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Participants at the third European Union high level Political Dialogue Forum at Suvavou House in Suva on May 23, 2018.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

Mr Wilson said actions on this were now agreed to be taken up by their headquarters.

He said more than 20 actions have been agreed upon to move the EU-Fiji relations forward.

He said the duration for these ac­tions to take place was between 18 to 24 months.

Out of the 20 actions, Mr Wilson flagged three actions to discuss.

“The Prime Minister has put great importance on climate change and we have been working out on con­crete actions to build a coalition for ambition, as the PM has clear ambitions for COP23. Especially looking forward to expand com­mitments towards Target 1.5,” Mr Wilson said.

The second action that the EU is working on is moving the economic partnership forward, because this agreement offers potential for both the EU and for Fiji.

There will be a seminar conducted by the Attorney-General and Min­ister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to discuss in detail about this partnership agreement.

The third action which Mr Wil­son hailed as a ‘pebble in the shoe’, was the visa issue to Fijian citizens travelling to the EU.

He said that it was a long term desire to see Fijians issued visas on arrival and the visa application procedures available in Suva.

Mr Wilson said the actions were being agreed to be taken up by the headquarters and he alone cannot agree to the issues raised by the PM. The reason being that the is­sues raised by the PM were classi­fied as member state issues, hence, it needed to be progressed.

Mr Wilson addressing the actions coming out of the consultations said: “I would like to reassure the A-G that the group has worked on these issues, identified actions that can be taken and now they are go­ing to take it to the relevant author­ities in Brussels.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was keen to work out these issues with the EU and he looked forward to further consolidating this Fiji-EU relationship.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

Subscribe to E-Edition
pacific island top up
Air Nuigini
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: