By Ahmet Gencturk
ANKARA (AA) – Members of the European Parliament on Thursday approved visa-free travel for Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Ecuador, a statement said.
In a draft report approved on Thursday, the Civil Liberties Committee endorsed a proposal to grant visa-free travel of up to 90 days to citizens of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Ecuador.
But in the case of Kuwait, MEPs supported visa freedom on the condition of a moratorium on death penalty.
They said visa freedom can be used to develop the partnership between EU countries and the Gulf states, emphasizing that a human rights dialogue must be a part of such development.
The MEPs noted that Ecuador has consistently demonstrated its commitment to respecting human rights, although more work is needed on prison conditions, women’s rights and the rights of indigenous peoples and refugees, among other things.
The draft legislation will now have to be endorsed by the full house of the European Parliament. Then, the Parliament and European Council can negotiate on the final form of the legislation.
When the law enters into force, each visa waiver would be negotiated bilaterally between the EU and third countries.