Czech Ambassador praises initiative in Congress to cancel visasNew

New York/Washington- Czech Ambassador to the USA, Petr Kolar, along with U.S.-based ambassadors of other new EU member countries, today appreciated the initiative of two U.S. Congressmen to introduce a visa-free regime for the citizens of new EU countries.

“We consider that it [the visa duty for new EU countries] really is not only our problem, but also a problem of the United States,” Kolar said.

“We want to solve this problem with those who understand us and who – like us – feel that it is a strategic problem for both sides,” he said.

Kolar said it was important that the two Congressmen who today called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to include the new EU countries among states that have a visa-free regime, namely Dennis Kucinich and John Schimkus, are representatives of both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Kucinich and Schimkus have been trying to persuade other Congress members for several months that they should change their stance to the visa issue.

Slovak Ambassador to the USA Rastislav Kacer said that patience is necessary in order to reach a solution to the problem.

“This is not an issue that could be decided through a single letter,” Kacer said.

However, Kacer said that the Kucinich and Schimkus’s initiative is one of the important steps towards a visa-free regime for Slovakia and the other new EU countries.

The visa issues have become more important before the Congress elections held in November.

Last week, foreign ministers of seven new EU Central European and Baltic states agreed to jointly strive for visa-free relations with the USA.