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24 Oct 2013

Parliament votes in favor of Belarus-Turkey visa-free travels

MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus passed the bill on ratifying the Belarusian-Turkish intergovernmental agreement on lifting visa requirements on 24 October, BelTA has learned.

BelTA reported earlier that the agreement will enable Belarus citizens to stay in Turkey for up to 30 days without visas as from the date of entry. Within one year Belarusians will be able to enter Turkey without needing visas but the total duration of their stay cannot exceed 90 days.

Visa-free travels will not be available for work purposes (except for transporting passengers and cargoes), for education trips, research ones, the reunion of families and for residence. Citizens of Turkey and Belarus will be granted visa-free travels for the sake of holding business negotiations.

However, for the visa-free travels to become available, the Belarus-Turkey agreement on readmission has to be ratified first. The House of Representatives of the National Assembly intends to pass the relevant bill, too, but no precise date has been voiced so far.

Apart from that, the House of Representatives ratified the Belarusian-Singaporean intergovernmental agreement on visa-free travels for owners of diplomatic and service passports. It is one of the standard steps required to advance the bilateral relations. Owners of said passports will be able to stay in the other country for at most 90 days per year without visas.

The agreement does not allow holders of service and diplomatic passports to get jobs in the other country without visas. The restriction does not apply to the work they do in diplomatic representative offices, consular institutions, and international organizations.

Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Yelena Kupchina, who presented the bills on ratifying these agreements on 24 October, said that the Belarusian side was working on signing agreements on visa-free travels with Honduras, Malaysia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Nicaragua. Apart from that, work is in progress to sign these agreements with the Republic of Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. The official explained the work was already in the advanced stage.

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