UAE suspends new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim countries
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has suspended travel visas for citizens from 13 mostly Muslim countries.
The UAE ban on visas includes countries such as Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park.
According to a source, who spoke to Reuters, the visas have temporarily stopped being issued to Afghans, Pakistanis and citizens of other countries over security concerns, but did not provide details of those concerns.
Highest cases and deaths due to Corona are in USA,India etc.but UAE has imposed visa restrictions on poor Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. What an irony of power?????
— M.Saeedullah (@yosufzai3) November 20, 2020
Visa ban until further notice
The decision to ban new visas to the 13 countries took effect on November 18, according to a document issued by the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority.
The document, seen by Reuters, said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals of the 13 countries until further notice.
It was not clear if there were any exceptions to the ban.
The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
The move comes a week after the French Embassy in the UAE told citizens to maintain vigilance after a bomb attack in Saudi Arabia on diplomats claimed by Islamic State. The explosion was the first attack in years.
When a Muslim government passes a Muslim Ban. The UAE 🇦🇪 is a hot mess. pic.twitter.com/OEIWmhagSQ
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) November 25, 2020
The visa ban comes two months after the Gulf state established formal ties with Israel, a move that broke with decades of Arab policy and angered some Muslim states and communities. Others welcomed it.
The source familiar with the matter said the ban was unrelated to the UAE’s relationship with Israel and was expected to last for a brief period of time.
A diplomat commented that the UAE had strained relations with some of the states listed, such as Turkey.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the UAE had stopped processing new visas for its citizens and those from some other countries but those already holding valid visas were not affected.
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