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U.S. Congress close to new visa-waiver law

The United States Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would ease visa restrictions for 13 countries including Slovakia. The House of Representatives, is expected to pass the bill next week which would then need only President George W. Bush's signature to make it law.

On Thursday, Paul Rosenzweig, an assistant secretary in the Department of Homeland Security discussed the proposed visa waiver programme with representatives of affected countries at a meeting in Prague. "These reforms, if approved by Congress, would enhance the overall elements of the security program and eventually permit visa-free travel to the United States for citizens of the countries that meet security elements," Rosenzweig explained in a statement.

President Bush indicated in November that he intended to work with the Congress on the bill. The 13 countries are new EU members Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, old EU member Greece, and South Korea.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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