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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou praises expected EU visa waiver

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou praises expected EU visa waiver

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The European Union is likely to decide before the middle of next year not to require visas from Taiwanese visitors, officials said Thursday, though they warned that the timing might change.
The measure would save Taiwanese travelers close to NT$3,000 per person, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ministry said that talks with the European Union were under way. If the discussions went smoothly, Europe could announce a decision sometime between next April and June, though the ministry denied there was a precise timetable.
The opening would affect travel by Taiwanese citizens to a total of 25 European countries, officials said.
Vice Foreign Minister Shen Lu-hsun warned against being overly optimistic since internal developments in the European Union might push back the decision on Taiwan.
President Ma Ying-jeou said the European plans were the result of his “viable diplomacy,” looking for ways to expand Taiwanese participation in international affairs and organizations without damaging relations with China.
Taiwan had been negotiating for a visa waiver for many years, and if a positive ending was now finally within reach, “viable diplomacy” was the reason, Ma said.
Great Britain was the first European country last March to issue a visa waiver benefiting Taiwanese visitors staying for up to six months. In an effort to attract tourists after months of political turmoil, Thailand also canceled the visa requirement for visitors from Taiwan and other countries from last March to the same month next year.
The Irish Republic followed the British example last July, though for a shorter three months.
Outside of Europe, Japan issued a three-month visa waiver beginning last September, while reports expect Taiwanese travelers to Canada might enter visa-free beginning early next year.


Updated : 2021-06-18 20:28 GMT+08:00