Dzurinda says visa issue sensitive for US Congress

THE CANCELLATION of the visa requirement for Slovak citizens who want to visit America is "a very live and sensitive issue" for the US Congress, said Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda on returning from an official visit to Washington on March 14.

Dzurinda told reporters that the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, with whom the Slovak PM spoke on his visit, strongly supports scrapping the visas, the TASR news wire wrote.

Lugar is especially anxious that "young people be able to travel without a visa" to the US, Dzurinda said. However, the senator cited time constraints as the reason no progress had been made on the issue by Congress.

Dzurinda visited Washington at the invitation of US President George W Bush, whom he met on March 13. The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan and acting Speaker of Parliament Béla Bugar.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
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