Romania Is Already On Visa Deal With Canada

By Claire Ann Austria

Oct 23, 2016 05:42 PM EDT

Romania has reached an agreement with Canada on visa liberalization in 2017, President Klaus Iohannis announced on Friday.

Romanians will be able to travel to Canada without visas from December 2017, after an agreement struck this morning in Brussels between the two countries, Romanian media reported.

The deal with Canada is conditioned by the signing of the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada (CETA). Romania and Bulgaria, which had objections to this deal due to the visa issue, withdrew their opposition, but the Belgian region of Walloon also opposes CETA and may block the whole deal. Thus, it's up to the Walloons (French Belgians) now if Romanians will go to Canada without visas starting 2017.

The Romanians who previously had a visa for Canada will no longer need a visa to enter this country starting May 1, 2017, and this measure will apply to all Romanians starting December 1, 2017. The President made the announcement while attending the EU Summit in Brussels.

The announcement came one day after President Iohannis said that he had a talk with Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos about the Romanian-Canadian negotiations on visa liberalization for Romanians, and that the signs were good.

"There are negotiations and the signs are good. Sure, at this stage, is already depends more on the Canadian side to take a determined step to complete negotiations successfully. We remain reserved until then, but there are real chances to make progress in this direction," Iohannis said on Thursday.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced earlier this week thatRomania couldn't support the steps taken towards the signing and the provisional application of the EU-Canada comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA). The decision was made because Canada didn't come with an offer for visa liberalization that Romania would accept.

The Romanian authorities didn't accept Canada's first offer, which provided that visas for Romanians traveling to Canada would be lifted in stages by 2018 at the latest.

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