YEREVAN, October 3. / ARKA /. Germany’s ambassador to Armenia, Reiner Morell, praised today the Armenian government for planning to unilaterally remove entry visas for the citizens of the EU and some other countries outside it which apply the provisions of the Schengen Agreement, saying the move will give a strong boost to the country’s tourism industry.
“To the best of our knowledge the government is going to discus this issue on its next session, but in any case, the decision will produce good results and above all, in terms of boosting local tourism industry,’ the ambassador said.
The ambassador also said the decision can have a positive impact on trade relations between Armenia and EU members, but avoided to provide concrete numbers.
"Visa simplification processes as a rule serve as a basis for development in other areas. The EU does have a trust for such cooperation", said Morel.
Earlier, Armenia’s deputy foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian said at a regular meeting of the Armenia-EU commission that negotiations on visa regime between Armenia and the European Union were essentially complete. The proposal to start negotiations was made by the European Commission in September 2011.
The government of Armenia said Tuesday that "According to the fifth part of the ninth article of the law" On foreign persons ", it has decided to abolish entry visas for citizens of EU countries, beginning from January 10, 2013.” Entry visas will be abolished also for citizens of some countries outside the EU, which apply the Schengen Agreement: they are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The citizens of these countries, according to the law "On foreign persons" may stay in Armenia without a visa for 90 days during one year. This decision wills l take effect on the day after its official publication.
On February 27 the EU’s Trade Commission decided to launch negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade area with Armenia to boost economic growth and investment. The launch of the trade negotiations was conditioned upon Armenia fulfilling a set of “key recommendations”. These were issued in June 2009 and covered necessary reforms in key regulatory areas related to trade, in order to prepare Armenia for the upcoming negotiations. -0-