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POSITIVE MOVE: UAE to relax Cdn. visa requirements

Following meetings on April 2, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a joint statement on the results of their discussions, which include a relaxation of visa requirements for Canadians. The statement said, “Just over a year ago, we set out an agenda between our countries to strengthen and re-energize the Canada-UAE relationship. To that end, we set three goals. First, sign a nuclear co-operation agreement. Second, launch a Canada-UAE business council. And third, facilitate travel requirements to increase business, tourism and joint prosperity for our citizens by restoring the visa regime. We are pleased to announce that we have accomplished those goals, which will be formalized in the next month. It continued that, “As strategic partners, Canada and the UAE can make significant contributions toward the goal of achieving stability and prosperity across the region. We will do so by developing a strategic agenda based on the following core themes — Prosperity; Security; and Development. Within the next six months, our governments commit to explore concrete goals in each of these areas. At the end of this period, senior officials will report back to the ministers of foreign affairs with recommendations on how our strategic alliance can be strengthened.”Emirates was quick to respond to what can only be good news for travellers headed to the UAE. In a statement, the carrier said, “Emirates welcomes the announcement of the relaxation of visa restrictions for Canadians travelling to the UAE as this adds convenience for our passengers. We currently operate three flights per week to Toronto and welcome the opportunity to add additional flights to Canada but this remains a matter between the Canadian and UAE governments.”

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