SLOVAK President Ivan Gašparovič will visit the White House on October 9 where U.S. President George W. Bush will receive him. American Ambassador to Slovakia Vincent Obsitnik formally delivered the invitation to visit the U.S.A. to the Slovak president on October 1. Cancellation of visa obligations for Slovak tourists travelling to the U.S will be high on the agenda of the official visit, President Gašparovič said, according to the ČTK newswire.
“I am convinced that I will return home with confirmation that the visa duty will be cancelled,” said Gašparovič. But he added that he could not say when the rules will actually change.
The meeting between the U.S. president and the Slovak president should last the normal 40-50 minutes, the SITA newswire reported.
Among European Union states, citizens of all the established members except Greece do not need visas when travelling to the U.S. as tourists. Among the new EU members, only Slovenia currently enjoys visa-free travel.
Obsitnik was unable to confirm whether Slovakia has met the key condition: not to exceed a 10-percent limit for rejected visa applications. This figure should be known soon after the U.S. fiscal year ends, i.e. after September 30.
Cancellation of visa obligations will mean that tourists will be required to fill in an electronic form 72 hours prior to their US visit. Applicants should receive a reply immediately, telling them whether they are welcome in the U.S.A. or not. If they do not receive a permit, they are required to apply for a visa at the embassy.
6. Oct 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports