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Two U.S. Senators introduce bill recommending Romania's inclusion in Visa Waiver Program



U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, the number two Democrat in the U.S. Senate, and Jeanne Shaheen, chair of the Subcommittee on Europe of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bill on Wednesday recommending Romania's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program, the Romanian Embassy in the United States said in a press release on Thursday.

The legislative initiative follows a visit the two senators paid to Romania last month, the source said.

Entitled "Romania Visa Waiver Act of 2023," the draft legislation piece represents an important legislative step that marks the support of the U.S. Senate in the context of Romania's efforts to become a member state of this programme. The bill sends an important political signal to the U.S. Executive Branch (Department of Homeland Security, which administers the Visa Waiver Program) regarding Romania's designation as a participating state. At the same time, the Government of Romania is encouraged to intensify its efforts to combat human trafficking and to meet the technical criteria for admission to the program as set forth in the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.

When introducing the bill on the Senate agenda, the two U.S. senators referred to the important and active role Romania plays within NATO and the European Union, emphasizing the close relationship as a strong ally of the United States. They also appreciated the generous support given to Ukrainian refugees in the context of Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine, the Romanian Embassy in Washington said in the press release.


The government will continue to work towards meeting the technical requirements for Romania's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said on Thursday, emphasizing that the bill submitted to the U.S. Senate recommending that Romania be granted eligibility for participation in the program creates a clear perspective for the achievement of a foreign policy goal Romanians have been expecting for years.

"In all the discussions and meetings with officials of the United States of America, I emphasized how important the right to free movement is for the business environment and for the citizens of Romania, which is a strong and reliable ally of our transatlantic partners. In our joint actions, in the bilateral collaboration and as part of the North Atlantic Alliance, our country has proven its firm support for the democratic ideals and values, as well as its commitment to progress and development. We have an excellent cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest and with Mrs. ambassador Kathleen Kavalec, whom I thank for her openness and for supporting Romanian projects. Romania's inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program will therefore not only be a legitimate response to our diplomatic efforts, but also a new argument for strengthening our bilateral ties," Ciuca said according to a post on the government's Facebook page.

He reiterated the commitment of the Executive for Romania meeting the Visa Waiver Program technical requirements.



Friday, March 17, 2023