In an interview with Al-Qabas Daily, Claire Le Fletcher, the French ambassador to Kuwait, assured Kuwaiti, Gulf and Arab tourists that the events and protests in France have not affected the demand for visa applications.
In an interview, he said that his country would remain one of the most popular tourist destinations and that Paris would do its best to ensure the safety of tourists, as confirmed by the French Minister of Economy, Finance, Industrial and Digital Sovereignty. Bruno Le Maire said in his interview with the newspaper “The Telegraph”.
According to Ambassador Le Fletcher, all foreign tourists are welcome and safe in France, regardless of their nationality. He pointed out the need to ensure accuracy and avoid believing all information circulating on the internet, especially social media as it regularly publishes fake and unverified news and information.
Ambassador Le Fletcher highlighted the high demand for visa applications, particularly in the summer months, revealing that the embassy has processed more than 23,000 visa applications since the start of the year, up 18 compared to the same period last year. is a percentage increase. , As a result of the tax imposed by France on domestic workers who accompany Kuwaiti tourists (for sponsors and employers) as social insurance for them as private employees in accordance with French labor law, the interest of Kuwaitis to move to France has not been affected.
Visa applications are on the rise, which indicates this trend. These fees are not collected by the Embassy, but by a specific party in France, which is why the Embassy is not sure of the amount collected. These fees are included in the state budget, as is the case in many European countries, and they do not apply only to Kuwaitis, but to all nationalities. Regarding the facilities provided by the embassy to avoid overcrowding in the submission of applications, Ambassador Le Fletcher said, “In addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, to whom we thank, we have extended the period of application submission for up to six months. Communicated widely about the possibility of doing so. before travel.” He appreciated the role played by the Ministry of External Affairs and its continuous communication with the embassies of European countries and the renewal of its claims and called upon those wishing to travel to France to submit their requests early, which has organized Contributed to. The work will be done well, even if the delay is high. “We regularly open new positions, and we collect requests from people willing to travel to France from their homes or wherever they are,” Le Fletcher said. To provide a VIP mobile service.”
As for the steps taken against the violators, he explained, “With the assistance of our European partners, the Kuwaiti authorities were asked to regulate the work of travel agencies, especially the price charged.” In his remarks, Ambassador Le Fletcher reiterated that the French Embassy only collects visa applications through the “Cabago” office, and no other office is able to issue visas. Also, Ambassador Le Fletcher praised Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah’s recent visit to Paris, describing it as an important and fruitful trip, as he chose France as the first country for his European tour. He said, “Both countries signed an MoU to continue strategic dialogue between them to develop and strengthen bilateral relations. The strategic dialogue meeting, which Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah will soon co-chair with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna, includes sub-working committees on various topics such as education, security, trade and health. It is worth underlining that the two Ministers, during the visit and their meeting, emphasized their common approach with regard to the stability of the region, especially in the context of France’s efforts to promote the expected “Baghdad Conference”. Within the framework, which will be held in Iraq. in October and in which Kuwait will participate at a high level as in the previous two editions of the conference. Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah stressed the importance of extending Kuwaiti visas during a meeting with Minister Colonna, who expressed interest in the matter.
Meanwhile, Italian Ambassador to Kuwait Carlo Baldocchi described Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah’s recent visit to Italy as successful and fruitful by all standards, Al-Anba daily reported. In an exclusive press interview, he pointed out that the visit has opened a road to greater strategic cooperation for the future of Kuwaiti-Italian relations and a qualitative change in terms of strengthening ties and building bridges of communication and understanding between the two friendly countries. Map prepared. , This resulted in the signing of three very important MoUs which would open up new horizons for the benefit of both the Allies.
The good news for Kuwait is that the Schengen exemption file will be announced in Brussels in September, indicating that this will not be the final step, but it is an important step. He added that his country’s foreign minister had confirmed to Sheikh Salem Al-Abdullah that his country would make great efforts to facilitate Kuwaitis to obtain long-term, multiple-entry visas at the current level. Ambassador Baldocchi highlighted the periodic consultations with the Kuwaiti side in the field of military cooperation as an essential pillar of the strategic dialogue between the two countries. Kuwait has received nine Eurofighter aircraft so far and will receive two or three more in the next few weeks, while the rest will arrive by the end of 2024, he said.