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Opinions & Interviews

28 Apr 2015

Israel Ambassador expects visa agreement with Belarus to take effect in September

Israel Ambassador expects visa agreement with Belarus to take effect in September

MINSK, 28 April (BelTA) – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Belarus Yosef Shagal expects that the Belarus-Israel visa abolition agreement will come into force in September 2015. The statement was made during the press conference to mark the Independence Day of Israel on 28 April, BelTA has learned.

The diplomat noted that the process is taking longer than expected due to the snap election in Israel called in December 2014. The previous Cabinet did not manage to ratify the agreement. Now the issue will be taken up by the new government that is being formed. Yosef Shagal is convinced that the ratification of the visa abolition agreement between the State of Israel and the Republic of Belarus will be among the first decisions that the new government will make.

“We believe that the new government will be formed by 12 to 15 May. I think that it will deal with the issue during its first session. The agreement can take effect in late August or early September as it is necessary to wait for 90 days from the moment of ratification. So is the procedure,” Yosef Shagal explained.

The Belarusian Parliament has already ratified the visa abolition agreement, so Belarus is ready to implement the document.

The Belarusian-Israeli intergovernmental agreement on the abolition of visas for the holders of national passports was signed in Minsk in September 2014. The document states that the citizens of Belarus and Israel who are the holders of valid national passports (except for diplomatic and official ones) are able to enter and leave the territory of the other state without visa for a period of up to 90 days within six months from the date of first entry. People who plan to stay in Belarus or Israel for more than 90 days and those who want to work or do business will need to get visas beforehand.

Each country retains the right to deny entry to the citizens of the other state or reduce the period of their stay if they deem it necessary.

The agreement will be valid for one year and can be automatically extended for more one-year periods until one of the partners notifies the other one about its decision to terminate it. In such event the agreement will cease to have effect after 90 days from receiving such a notice by the other part.

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